Armstrong applies to expand Pikka unit
Armstrong Energy LLC, operator of the Pikka unit on Alaska's North Slope, has applied to Alaska's Division of Oil and Gas and to Arctic Slope Regional Inc. to expand the unit. The proposed expansion would add 24 state leases to the southern part of the unit, with 17 of those leases on the west side of the unit and seven on the east side. In its application Armstrong says that the expansion is needed to accommodate all of the wells specified in a plan of development filed in a permit application to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in June 2105.
The western section of the expansion area would accommodate up to 62 potential wellbores or partial wellbores targeting the Nanushuk, Alpine and Kuparuk formations. The eastern section would accommodate up to 16 wellbores or partial wellbores targeting the Alpine formation, the application says.
Armstrong has previously indicated that is has a major oil discovery involving multiple oil pools in a new oil play in the Pikka unit, between the Kuparuk River and Alpine oil fields.
- ALAN BAILEY
Ahtna starts drilling of Tolsona well
Ahtna Inc. announced yesterday that it has started drilling the Tolsona No. 1 exploration well, about 11.5 miles west of the town of Glennallen, in the Copper River basin. The well is seeking natural gas in the Nelchina sandstone at depths of between 4,000 and 5,000 feet. The intent is to find a viable gas resource to alleviate the high cost of energy in the Copper Valley region.
Ahtna is using the Saxon 147 drilling rig on a gravel pad constructed about a mile north of the Glenn Highway.
The region is known to be gas prone. A previous exploration well, drilled about two miles east of the Tolsona well between 2005 and 2007, encountered gas but eventually had to be abandoned because of exceptionally high formation pressures and problems with water encroachment. Ahtna says that for this new drilling venture it is putting in place mitigation measures for dealing with potential high subsurface pressures.
- ALAN BAILEY
See stories in Oct. 9 issue of Petroleum News, available online Friday, Oct. 7, at www.PetroleumNews.com