Providing coverage of Alaska and northern Canada's oil and gas industry
July 2018

Vol. 23, No.27 Week of July 08, 2018

Commission receives 2 commingle requests

BP applies to commingle Put River, Prudhoe oil pool production; Hilcorp applies for single-well Beluga, Tyonek gas pool commingling

Kristen Nelson

Petroleum News

The Alaska Oil and Gas Conservation Commission has received two applications for commingling of production in wellbores, one from BP Exploration (Alaska) and one from Hilcorp Alaska.

Prudhoe, Put River oil pools

BP is the Prudhoe Bay field operator. In its June 20 application the company requests amendment of commission conservation orders for the Prudhoe oil pool and the Put River oil pool to allow pool wide downhole commingling.

In its application BP said Put River oil pool appraisal activities in 2005 identified oil and gas condensate in the western and central lobes of the Put River oil pool, but further development of those lobes “was not pursued at that time in part due to low flow rates that resulted in significant operational challenges and associated down-time due to hydrate deposition.”

BP said there are several wells that penetrate both the Prudhoe and Put River oil pools and could be completed in both pools. The company said that commingling production in the same well bore would increase fluid rate and velocity, “resulting in higher flowing wellhead temperatures and reduced production problems associated with hydrate formation,” allowing for recovery of a greater quantity of Put River oil and gas condensate.

Commingling would not cause waste, BP said, and told the commission there are several potential wells in which existing Ivishak production from the Prudhoe oil pool could be commingled with Put River production. The company told the commission that production from the separate wells can be properly allocated.

Beluga, Tyonek gas pools

Hilcorp applied June 21 for downhole commingling of production from the Beluga and Tyonek gas pools in the same wellbore in well SRU 14-15 in the Swanson River field. Without commingling approval, the company said, it would plug and abandon the well.

Hilcorp said SRU 14-15 was drilled by Standard Oil Co. in July 1959 and initially produced oil from the Hemlock formation. The well was shut-in and temporarily abandoned in 1963 after producing a total of some 14,300 barrels.

Union Oil Company of California perforated and tested the Tyonek formation in the well for gas in June 2001 but did not find commercial quantities. Hilcorp perforated and tested the Tyonek sands in November 2017, detecting a small amount of gas, but without enough reservoir pressure to sustain flow.

“The well is currently shut-in in hopes to add perforations in the Beluga and Tyonek formations which may result in adding production in commercial quantities,” the company told the commission.

The federal Bureau of Land Management has already granted commingling and allocation approval from the Beluga formation in SRU Tract 2 and the Tyonek participating area in the SRU-14-15 well, based on a May 14 application, Hilcorp told the commission.

“To extend the productive life of this wellbore, Hilcorp now requests that the AOGCC grant a waiver of the requirement to provide complete separation of flow streams from different pools as specified in 20 AAC 25.210 for commingling of production within the same wellbore from the Beluga Gas Pool and the Tyonek Gas Pool. Hilcorp plans to add bypassed production in the Beluga and Tyonek formations without isolating existing perforations within the Tyonek formation, in order to return SRU 14-15 to production,” the company said.

The commission has tentatively scheduled hearings on the applications (Aug. 6 on the BP request, Aug. 7 on the Hilcorp request), but said in both cases that if hearings are not requested per its notices it may issue orders without holding hearings.

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