Providing coverage of Alaska and northern Canada's oil and gas industry
February 2019

Vol. 24, No. 6 Week of February 10, 2019

AEX planning well test in Placer unit; will flow test Placer No. 3

Alan Bailey

Petroleum News

In a new status report on its current plan of development for the Placer unit, ASRC Exploration LLC has told Alaskaís Division of Oil and Gas that it plans to start a flow test for the Placer No. 3 well by March 24, with the testing to be completed by the end of this winterís ice road season. The company is planning production from a Kuparuk C sand reservoir in the unit, which is close to the western edge of the Kuparuk River unit.

In the new report, dated Jan. 31, AEX says that it wants to conduct an 18- to 20-day flow test of the No. 3 well. The testing project involves building an ice pad and ice road, from an ice road constructed by Oil Search for one of its winter drilling projects. The necessary equipment for the testing would then be moved to the well location before conducting the test operations.

AEX told the division that it has applied for the necessary permits for the testing project. The company is finalizing an ice road sharing agreement with Oil Search and has agreements with the contractors who will conduct the project. In preparation for the winter field work, AEX conducted aerial reconnaissance and surveyed well locations in the late summer of 2018, the company said.

New dataset and reservoir simulation

AEX has also created a new dataset for the Kuparuk C reservoir by merging data from three 3-D seismic surveys. The use of this data to construct a static model of the reservoir led to a dynamic reservoir simulation model for the entire Kuparuk C oil accumulation, AEX told the division. This simulation model is assisting an investigation of development alternatives for the field, including the optimization of well placement and the running of economic scenarios. AEX also plans to further investigate the potential use of hydraulic fracturing for accessing the reservoir.

Based on the dynamic modeling results, AEX conducted a study into the design of horizontal development wells planned for the unit. Results from the reservoir simulation point to a need for two horizontal production wells and two horizontal injectors for effectively developing the Kuparuk C oil pool. Three of these wells would be drilled from a pad at the Placer No. 1 well location, while a single injector would be drilled from the Placer No. 3 location.

Nanushuk sandstones

The report also says that AEX is evaluating oil shows in Nanushuk sandstones encountered by the Placer No. 1 and No. 2 wells, presumably at shallower depths than the Kuparuk. The Nanushuk formation hosts the oil reservoir sands for the huge Pikka development that Oil Search is conducting not far from the Placer unit. AEX says that its interpretation of the merged 3-D seismic data indicates that there is a major difference in the geologic settings in which the Nanushuk was formed, between the Pikka and Placer units. However, the company is continuing its investigation of this issue and anticipates providing further details at a later date.


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