Ahtna Inc. is preparing for the start of drilling of its Tolsona No. 1 natural gas exploration well about 11.5 miles west of the town of Glennallen, the Native regional corporation for the Copper River region announced today. Construction of a new 4-acre gravel drilling pad is complete, with the drilling rig scheduled to arrive on site by Sept. 1. Drilling is scheduled to start in mid-September and should be completed by late October.
Ahtna says that uncertainty over the status of state oil and gas tax credits has proved challenging for the project. The extension of the credits for Alaska's "Middle Earth" region, including the Copper River basin, has made the drilling possible, the corporation says. The primary objective of the project is to find a source of gas for heating and power generation in a region where energy costs have become very high.
"Ahtna would not be doing this exploration if the tax credits were not in place. A substantial discovery would benefit not only the Copper River region but the state at large, helping to address high energy costs in the region and beyond," said Ahtna President Michelle Anderson.
- ALAN BAILEY
See story in Aug. 14 issue of Petroleum News, available online Friday, Aug. 12, at www.PetroleumNews.com