February 17, 2010 --- Vol. 16, No. 14February 2010

BRPC to case and test Sak River 1-A well

Brooks Range Petroleum Corp. is planning a production flow test on a North Slope exploration well after encountering hydrocarbons, the company said today.

BRPC, which is operating a multiwell program this winter on behalf of several partners, drilled the Sak River No. 1-A sidetrack to a measured depth of 12,726 feet and a total depth of 9,350 feet, “stopping within the Miluveach formation.” In a statement, BRPC said, “Porous sandstones with hydrocarbon shows were encountered in sandstones of the Kuparuk formation at a depth of approximately 8,900 feet subsea (total vertical depth).”

Sak River No. 1-A is in the onshore-offshore Beechey Point unit in the Gwydyr Bay area. BRPC drilled the well from an onshore ice pad to bottomhole location more than a mile and half offshore beneath Gwydyr Bay. BRPC drilled the well using Nabors rig 16 E.

The company spud Sak River No. 1-A on Jan. 26.

EPA issues proposed air quality permit for Shell’s Beaufort Sea drilling

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency today issued a proposed air quality permit for Shell’s planned drilling program in the Beaufort Sea. Shell plans to use the drillship Frontier Discoverer to drill one well in its Beaufort Sea Torpedo prospect and one well in its Sivulliq prospect during the 2010 open water drilling season. Both prospects are on the outer continental shelf, on the west side of Camden Bay, north of the eastern end of the North Slope.

The EPA permit, allowing exhaust emissions up to prescribed limits from the Frontier Discoverer’s engines and other equipment while at a well location, is a critical piece of the required permitting for the Beaufort Sea drilling.

EPA is inviting public comments on the proposed permit until March 22 and the agency has scheduled public hearings in the Beaufort Sea coastal communities of Barrow, Nuiqsut and Kaktovik. Following the public comment period the agency will decide whether to issue the permit.

EPA has already issued a similar proposed permit for Shell’s planned drilling operations in the Chukchi Sea — the public comment period for that proposed permit ends today.

Editor’s note: See full stories in the Feb. 21 issue of Petroleum News, which will be available online at noon on Feb. 19 to subscribers at

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