Talisman Energy CEO Jim Buckee made one discovery as his company’s subsidiary FEX drilled its first wildcat well in the National Petroleum Reserve-Alaska over the winter.
“It’s damn cold up there,” he ruefully told a conference call May 10 when an analyst asked what lessons Talisman has learned from the Aklaq 2 well.
It’s also surprisingly warm at times, commented Executive Vice-President of Exploration John ’t Hart.
A combination of those two extremes forced FEX to suspend drilling on its NPR-A exploration well in February in anticipation of future testing.
Buckee and ’t Hart said the challenges ran the gamut from a deep freeze as FEX was barging equipment to the Aklaq site, followed by a warm spell that affected the tundra, then another cold snap.
“Alaska is an exercise in logistics,” said ‘t Hart.
The weather aside, the company has learned enough to decide it will do some things differently as it gears up for the next round of drilling in the winter of 2006/07.
A number of drilling locations will be identified this summer and if “everything works,” FEX will be ready to go on two to five locations this coming winter, ’t Hart said.
The big Nabors Rig 14E that FEX used this past winter is stacked at the staging area in Smith Bay. Talisman said FEX will attempt to bring in smaller, more mobile rigs over the summer, which gives legs to the rumor the Arctic Wolf being built by Akita Drilling in partnership with Doyon Drilling might also be used for FEX’s NPR-A drilling program.
In the past Talisman officials have talked about using as many as three drilling rigs in NPR-A next winter.