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Vol. 17, No. 48 Week of November 25, 2012
Providing coverage of Alaska and northern Canada's oil and gas industry

Explorers 2012: Furie finishes sidetrack at KLU No. 2 well

Company says it is testing gas zones in the Beluga formation; wants to continue offshore Cook Inlet operations into November

Alan Bailey

Petroleum News

Furie Operating Alaska has completed a sidetrack well to its Kitchen Lights Unit No. 2 well in Alaska’s Cook Inlet and plans to test gas productivity from several natural gas zones in the Beluga formation, according to an Oct. 17 letter from Furie President Damon Kade to Alaska’s Division of Oil and Gas. Kade’s letter requested the division to allow Furie’s Spartan 151 jack-up rig to remain on site at the well location until Nov. 10 while the testing is completed.

The current plan of operations for Furie’s drilling requires the jack-up rig to depart any well location by Oct. 31, in anticipation of winter ice starting to appear on the waters of the inlet. However, the plan also gives the division director the discretion to allow operations to continue beyond that date, provided Furie can demonstrate that it can operate “safely and prudently.” Kade said that the company is taking the necessary steps to ensure safety.

Gas find

At around this time last year Furie announced a major gas find at relatively shallow depths in its Kitchen Lights Unit No. 1 well, with the company later scaling back its estimates of the size of that discovery: In late March Kade said that the find probably held about 750 billion cubic feet of gas, with a potential gas production rate of up to 30 million cubic feet per day.

At the end of the 2011 drilling season Furie suspended the KLU No. 1 well at a depth of 8,805 feet. And in May of this year the Spartan 151 rig returned to the well site, to re-enter the well and continue drilling. Furie has said that it wants to test multiple horizons at Kitchen Lights, seeking oil in the deeper horizons as well as looking for new gas resources. The company has also said that it wants to penetrate what is referred to as the “pre-Tertiary” at depths of around 16,500 feet. Cook Inlet geologists have speculated that the pre-Tertiary rocks, older and deeper than the Tertiary strata that host the operational Cook Inlet oil and gas fields, may contain substantial oil resources.

However, in early August Furie stopped drilling the KLU No.1 well at a depth of 15,298 feet before reaching the base of the Tertiary. And, to meet a commitment to drill a second well in the Kitchen Lights unit by Nov. 30 this year, the company moved the jack-up rig to the KLU No. 2 well location to start drilling there.

Drilling proceeded. But according to information obtained by Petroleum News the KLU No. 2 well has not reached a depth below 9,000 feet.

Earlier this year Kade told Petroleum News that, in addition to seeking new oil and gas resources, the drilling of the KLU No. 2 well would provide an opportunity to delineate the gas discovery that Furie made last year. It is not clear whether the well tests that Furie is now conducting apply to that same gas resource.

Furie has not responded to requests for information about the recent developments in its drilling at KLU No. 2. However, given the nature and likely depth of the testing, it appears that the company is focusing on gas rather than oil in its current drilling efforts.

The company has said that it plans to install a monopod production platform at one of its Kitchen Lights well locations, to develop last year’s gas find. In April of this year the Division of Oil and Gas gave Furie permission to use the Spartan 151 rig drill a geotechnical borehole at the KLU No.1 well site and another at the KLU No. 2 site, before drilling these wells, to obtain information for the engineering of a permanent production facility.

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