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

Vol. 23, No.35 Week of September 02, 2018

State OKs Seaview exploration plan

Kristen Nelson

Petroleum News

The Alaska Department of Natural Resources Division of Oil and Gas has approved a lease plan of operations for the exploration phase of Hilcorp Alaska’s Seaview pad.

Hilcorp applied in late May for construction of the Seaview pad on the southern Kenai Peninsula near Anchor Point, telling the division it planned to drill two exploration wells from the new pad. The company had permitted and drilled seven shallow stratigraphic test wells in the area last summer and began permitting activities early in the year for the pad and exploration wells.

The proposed wells, Seaview 8 and 9, will be drilled within ADL 392667, the division said Aug. 24 in approving the exploration phase of the project. Work was planned to begin this summer and end in early November, although the original schedule, with pad construction proposed to begin in mid-July, has slipped.

The division said the wellbore locations for the two wells “were derived from stratigraphic wells drilled on private lands near ADL 392667 and other prior wells drilled in the surrounding area.” The Seaview 8 will extend beyond ADL 392667, the state said, exploring for oil on fee simple land.

The state said there are three separate stages for each well, beginning with the directional drilling and insertion of surface casing through subsurface of potential hydrocarbon-bearing zones within the Lower Sterling and Beluga formations, with well evaluation including downhole instrumentation. Well control equipment and casing will isolate gas-bearing zones.

In stage two the well will be deepened beyond the state lease with a lateral horizontal evaluating the Lower Tyonek, Hemlock and deeper formations on fee simple lands.

The third stage would involve evaluating potential hydrocarbon reservoirs by perforating and flow-back testing, following which the well may be temporarily secured or formally suspended while data is evaluated.

The division said the first 5,500 feet of the Seaview 8 would be perforated to evaluate gas zones, which are partially within ADL 392667, while the bottom-hole location, on fee simple land, would be evaluated for oil resources.

The division said the Seaview 9 would be drilled some 10,000 feet measured depth northwest of the pad and is a gas exploration well only.

Pad specifics

Existing access roads will be used and pad construction will be within an active mine site, so no rehabilitation is planned, with cleanup work required to be done to the satisfaction of the private landowner and any applicable agencies and/or stakeholders.

The pad is within one-half mile of the Anchor River, with the exploration targets of the wells bounded by the one-half mile Cook Inlet buffer to the west and the one-half mile Anchor River buffer to the east.

Environmental and social impact is mitigated by the fact that the pad location has already been disturbed, is an active mine site with ongoing activities and will result in no loss of wetlands or wildlife habitat.

The primary target of the Seaview 8 well is gas; the target of the Seaview 9 well is only gas.

The division said the waiver allowing the pad within one-half mile of the Anchor River is appropriate because no other location is practicable, with Hilcorp’s proposal for locating the pad offering the smallest possible extent of environmental impact within ADL 392667.

Proposed facilities are temporary and the gravel drill pad will be constructed at the western extent of the parcel to minimize the distance from the Anchor River and buffer sound impacts to landowners to the south and west.

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