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

Vol. 23, No.15 Week of April 15, 2018

Five Cook Inlet development plans approved

Work completed in last plan, proposed for next, described for 2 small Cook Inlet Energy oil fields, 3 small Hilcorp gas fields

Kristen Nelson

Petroleum News

The state has issued approvals for plans of development for five small fields in Cook Inlet, two operated by Glacier Oil’s Cook Inlet Energy and three by Hilcorp Alaska.

Companies are required to file PODs for Alaska Department of Natural Resources’ Division of Oil and Gas approval annually, outlining plans for the upcoming year and also detailing work done under the previous POD.

The work described illustrates some of what it takes to keep small fields in production.

Cook Inlet Energy PODs

The two Cook Inlet Energy units both produce oil.

Redoubt Shoal is producing 827 barrels per day, division Director Chantal Walsh said in the letter approving the POD, with cumulative production of 4.2 million barrels through November. Redoubt also produces 145,000 cubic feet per day of natural gas, with cumulative production of 2.41 billion cubic feet through November.

In the previous, 17th POD, CIE completed a sidetrack of the RU-3 well and brought it online as a waterflood. The company did not hydraulically fracture two wells, RU-1A and RU-5B because of the failure of electrical submersible pumps but did replace those ESPs.

Walsh said CIE has also applied to contract the Redoubt unit and create a new south step out participating area, an application on which a decision is pending.

For the 18th POD CIE is going to look at results of current and planned enhanced recovery waterflood efforts and convert additional non-producing wells to waterflood if appropriate; change out a failed ESP in the RU-9 well and perhaps stimulate that well with hydraulic fracturing; and drill and stimulate a sidetrack of the RU-4A wells and use it for waterflood injection.

The division also approved the 27th POD for the West McArthur River unit, which is producing 805 bpd, excluding Sword and 1,177 bpd with Sword, with cumulative production of 14.4 million barrels, excluding Sword, and 15.1 million barrels including Sword, through November.

Gas production is at 181,000 cubic feet per day, including Sword, 124,000 cubic feet excluding Sword, with cumulative production of 3.87 bcf including Sword and 3.67 bcf excluding Sword.

For the previous 26th POD CIE continued analysis of production and enhancing production through perforation adds, well workovers and pump replacements.

“CIE additionally committed to developing and permitting drilling plans for the Sabre project,” Walsh said.

During the 26th POD CIE also completed the process of moving production processing of WMRU wells to the Kustatan Production Facility, a newer facility capable of handling greater production volumes. CIE also discontinued use of high-pressure oil injection jet pumps, simplifying operations and increasing overall field safety.

For the 27th POD CIE will continue to explore methods to enhance production, manage production decline and increase total ultimate recovery from existing wells; and continue to analyze production from unit wells and enhance production as appropriate through perforation adds within wells, well workovers and pump replacements. CIE will also continue to permit drilling plans for the Sabre offshore exploratory well, which would be drilled from a jack-up.

Hilcorp PODs

Walsh approved PODs for the Hilcorp-operated Ivan River, Lewis River and Pretty Creek units, all producing gas, and the Pretty Creek gas storage lease.

The Ivan River unit was formed in 1967; production began in 1990. Cumulative production was 86.1 bcf through the end of 2017, with production declining from some 0.750 million cubic feet per day in 2016 to 0.651 million cubic feet in 2017.

Hilcorp continued production from the Sterling-Beluga and Tyonek participating areas during the 2017 POD and continued using the IRU 14-31 and 13-31 wells for disposal for the Lewis River, Pretty Creek, Ivan River and Stump Lake units.

Hilcorp plans to continue to produce from the Sterling-Beluga and Tyonek PAs during the 2018 POD, Walsh said, and “also plans to continue a comprehensive field study for further development.”

Lewis River has been on production since 1984 and has produced 15.4 bcf of cumulative gas through the end of 2017. Hilcorp produced 128 million cubic feet of gas in 2016, and increased production to 137 million cubic feet in 2017.

Hilcorp continued production from Lewis River gas pool No. 2 in 2017, with one well on production. No drilling or wellwork was done, but a permanent sand separator was installed.

During 2018 Hilcorp plans to continue production from the same pool, and “also plans to continue a comprehensive field study for further development.” As at Ivan River, no major facilities upgrades are planned, but Hilcorp will address needs as they arise.

Pretty Creek has been in production since 1986, producing cumulatively 9.51 bcf of gas through the end of 2017. Production from Pretty Creek has been intermittent and variable, with average daily rates of some 0.028 million cubic feet per day in 2017.

The Pretty Creek gas storage lease was issued in 2005 and renewed in 2015. For 2017, 32 million cubic feet of gas were injected and 172 million cubic feet withdrawn.

Hilcorp continued production from the Beluga PA during the 2017 POD, with one well in production, and no drilling, well or facility work performed.

During 2018 Hilcorp plans to continue to produce from the Beluga PA and plans to review existing wells for further development.

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