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Vol. 17, No. 39 Week of September 23, 2012
Providing coverage of Alaska and northern Canada's oil and gas industry

Armstrong Cook Inlet drilling at North Fork, second well planned

Armstrong Cook Inlet LLC plans to drill two wells at its North Fork unit this fall.

The subsidiary of Denver independent Armstrong Oil & Gas Inc. is currently drilling the NFU No. 23-25 well to increase natural gas production at the southern Kenai Peninsula field and plans to subsequently drill the NFU 22-35 well for the same purpose, Vice President of Land and Business Development Ed Kerr told Petroleum News Sept. 18.

Additionally, Armstrong plans to upgrade facilities to accommodate the changing composition of its production stream and install compression to increase deliverability.

Both wells start from the existing North Fork facilities. The NFU No. 23-25 well extends to a bottom-hole location to the east while the NFU No. 22-35 well would extend to bottom hole location to the south, according to filings Armstrong made to state agencies.

The North Fork field currently produces between 2.5 million cubic feet and 10 million cubic feet per day, depending on the season and the market needs, according to Kerr.

Armstrong is currently producing from four wells and six separate Tyonek sandstones at North Fork, according to Alaska Division of Oil and Gas information. The most productive, accounting for almost half of cumulative production, is the NFU No. 41-35 well that Standard Oil Co. of California drilled in 1965 and Armstrong re-entered in 2010.

The NFU No. 41-35 produces from the Tyonek 8000 and Tyonek 8500 sands.

The other three producing wells at North Fork are the NFU No. 34-26 which Armstrong drilled in 2008 and the NFU No. 14-25 and NFU No. 32-35 Armstrong drilled in 2010.

The two-well program this fall goes beyond its requirements to the state.

Under its current plan of development — the 47th for North Fork, in place until March 2013 — Armstrong must test additional zones in NFU No. 34-26 well and drill at least one additional well at the field to target a previously untested segment of the Tyonek.

As it begins to test these additional zones, Armstrong is propelled by two recent developments at the North Fork unit: one technical and one administrative.

Armstrong recently shot 3-D seismic that “greatly improved the regional structural definition of the four-way anticlinal North Fork closure,” according to state filings.

The trick at North Fork is to find productive patches within the sandstones.

“Depositionally, these are lenticular sands, so they come and go,” Kerr told Petroleum News, referring to layers of sands and mud. “We’re drilling through a package of sands.”

Additionally, and in part because of the seismic results, the state recently agreed to expand the North Fork unit and its Gas Pool No. 1 participating area to the west.

Armstrong brought North Fork online in April 2011.

—Eric Lidji



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