CIE to use old Kustatan well for disposal
Cook Inlet Energy LLC is looking to get a new trick out of an old dog.
The Anchorage-based company has applied to the state Department of Natural Resources, Division of Mining, Land and Water, for a wellbore easement to use a former natural gas well as a waste disposal well.
The well is known as the Kustatan Field No. 1, located on a pad at the Kustatan production facility on the inlet’s west side. The facility processes output from the company’s Osprey offshore oil and gas field.
The Kustatan Field No. 1 originally was drilled as an exploration well in the 1960s, and was plugged and abandoned in 1968, Cook Inlet Energy said.
“It has been re-entered several times since then,” the company told DNR.
Cook Inlet Energy, which acquired the Kustatan property in late 2009, produced gas from the well before shutting it off in November 2012.
Now the company wants to use it as a Class II disposal well. This means the well would be used to shoot drilling wastes such as cuttings, mud and produced water into a geologic formation deep underground. This is a technique commonly used in Alaska’s oil fields to dispose of drilling wastes.
Cook Inlet Energy said disposal would involve no more than 5,000 barrels per day of drilling wastes.
Company executives have talked of waste disposal for westside operators as a potentially good line of business for Cook Inlet Energy.
Without oil or gas production, the authorization for using the well can no longer be administered by DNR’s Division of Oil and Gas. Thus, Cook Inlet Energy needs authorization from the Division of Mining, Land and Water for the continued subsurface use of the well, DNR said in a summary of the company’s easement application.
The division will grant the easement provided the Alaska Oil and Gas Conservation Commission approves disposal operations, the summary said. AOGCC regulates downhole operations.