Apache Corp. has secured a suitable drilling rig and is preparing to drill its first Cook Inlet exploration well, the company announced yesterday. The drilling location is near the village of Tyonek on the west side of the inlet — Apache has scheduled a meeting with village residents on Oct. 10 to discuss the drilling operation, which should start before the end of the year.
Apache has been conducting a major 3-D seismic program in the Cook Inlet basin, to identify exploration drilling targets in the company’s approximately 1 million acres of Cook Inlet leases. The company is primarily interested in finding oil.
“This is an important step in Apache’s exploration program in Cook Inlet,” said John Hendrix, general manager of Apache’s Alaska operations, when announcing the drilling operation. “First, we started building a large acreage position in a proven hydrocarbon basin with material oil potential; then, we initiated a 3-D seismic program to image the subsurface. Now we are preparing to drill our first wells.”
Apache says that it has obtained the use of the Patterson-UTI drilling rig, transporting the rig by truck and barge from the Bakken play in North Dakota. The company says that about 100 people will be employed by its contractors and subcontractors for the drilling operation.
“Apache is committed to safe and environmentally responsible operations and open communications with all of our stakeholders,” Hendrix said. “At the Oct. 10 meeting we plan to explain to the village what we will be doing in the months ahead since residents will see an increase in activity in the area.”
See story in Sept. 23 issue, available online on Friday, Sept. 21 at 11 a.m. at www.PetroleumNews.com