Providing coverage of Alaska and northern Canada's oil and gas industry
April 2008

Vol. 13, No. 16 Week of April 20, 2008

Armstrong submits North Fork ops plan

Lays out proposed camp size and operations, plan to use many existing facilities for North Fork 34-26, still needs some permits

Eric Lidji

Petroleum News

Armstrong Cook Inlet LLC’s attempt to explore the North Fork Unit this summer will be an exercise in slight expansion.

The Alaska subsidiary of Denver-based independent Armstrong Oil and Gas Co., both headed by Bill Armstrong, has already suggested it would ask the state to expand the unit boundaries to encompass a proposed well site, North Fork No. 34-26.

Now, Armstrong CI says it can drill that well from an existing gravel pad in the area, but will likely need to expand it, according to the plan of operations filed with the state.

In the plan, Armstrong CI doesn’t add much information about the project, but does say it will need to expand the pad to 400 by 500 feet and move power lines in the area.

The proposed well site is six miles east of Anchor Point, just off North Fork Road in the southern Kenai Peninsula.

The expanded drilling pad would include an AWS-1 or equivalent rig, an office, maintenance buildings and warm and cold storage areas. The camp would include an on-site trailer, with additional off-site housing at Anchor Point.

The operation would run 24 hours a day with 30 to 35 people on each shift.

The company could drill more than one well, if needed, and expects the drilling program to take between two and four months. The company recently received permission to delay its drilling program until the summer, when area roads can better support heavy machinery.

Permitting ongoing

Armstrong plans to drill the North Fork 34-26 well to a depth of 9,100 feet.

Although the company is initially and primarily targeting gas, the Hemlock formation being drilled through is also believed to contain oil.

Armstrong CI said it would apply for an oil discharge prevention and contingency plan if it eventually decides to drill for oil. For now, the company is waiting to get the standard exemption issued for eligible natural gas projects.

North Fork is seen as one of several gas fields that could eventually justify infrastructure extensions into the southern Kenai Peninsula and maybe the city of Homer.

Armstrong expects any commercial gas to be moved through Enstar Natural Gas Co. pipeline extensions from either Anchor Point or Happy Valley, the company told area landowners during a community meeting in February.

If Armstrong ends up developing North Fork as an oil play, the company said it would likely truck several weekly shipments to an existing refinery rather than build an oil pipeline extension.

Instead of building an on-site reserve pit for waste, Armstrong CI plans to either inject drilling mud and cuttings into neighboring wells or haul it off site. The company is waiting to get approval for a temporary waste storage permit from the Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation.

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