Fowler Oil & Gas Corp. announced June 5 that it has started to construct the access road and drilling pad for the Kircher No. 1 well. The well will test for coalbed methane in privately owned land in an area of forest and farmland between Palmer and Wasilla in Alaska’s Matanuska-Susitna Borough.
Initial drilling activities will involve Tester Drilling Services using a small rig to core vertically to a depth of 2,500 feet. The coring operation will provide information about what is in the subsurface, Bob Fowler, CEO of Fowler Oil & Gas, told Petroleum News June 6. Fowler Oil & Gas will notify the Alaska Oil and Conservation Commission of the results of the coring, Fowler said.
The company obtained a permit to drill the Kircher well from AOGCC on May 14. The Matanuska-Susitna Borough approved a conditional use permit for the well in October.
But Fowler declined to speculate on exactly when the coring operation would start.
“We’re going to take our time on this and do it right,” Fowler said.
The company plans to produce coalbed methane from multiple horizontal wells sidetracked from a vertical well bore. By threading the horizontal wells through the subsurface coal seams, the company hopes to achieve viable gas production rates through the single surface well head of the vertical well — coalbed methane projects have become notorious in the past, in part because of the use of a multiplicity of wells.
The company also plans to inject produced water into an underground sandstone reservoir using a downhole separator and pump, thus eliminating the need to flow water to the surface. One objective of the coring operation is to locate a suitable sandstone reservoir for the water injection operation, Fowler said.
Assuming that the coring operation proves successful, Scientific Drilling Inc. will take over the drilling operation and use the Aurora Well Service No. 1 rig to ream out the initial coring well to the full diameter of the vertical production well.
“We’ll go back into the same hole and ream it out to the same depth,” Fowler said.
After completing the vertical well, Scientific Drilling will use the Aurora rig to drill the first set of horizontal wells — Scientific Drilling specializes in the type of horizontal drilling required for the Kircher well. Fowler Oil & Gas will then bring in its own Speedstar rig to enable Scientific Drilling to drill the remaining horizontal wells.
“The Speedstar 185 rig is custom built for our use,” Fowler said.
Obtaining well casing and drill pipe is proving difficult but Fowler Oil & Gas hopes to bring the Kircher well into production in late September or early October, Fowler said.
“Casing and pipe are becoming harder to get in quantity,” Fowler said.
The company plans to connect the well to a nearby Enstar pipeline without having to compress the Kircher gas.