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Vol. 23, No.39 Week of September 30, 2018
Providing coverage of Alaska and northern Canada's oil and gas industry

Drilling progresses

Furie is testing one Kitchen Lights development well, drilling another

Alan Bailey

Petroleum News

Furie Operating Alaska has completed the KLU A-1 well and is currently using the Spartan 151 jack-up rig to drill the KLU A-4 well at the Julius R. platform in the Kitchen Lights unit, offshore in Cook Inlet, Scott Pinsonnault, the company’s chief operating officer, told Petroleum News Sept. 20. The objective is to have four production wells in operation in the Kitchen Lights gas field - the field already produces from the KLU Nos. 2 and 3 wells at the platform.

“We’ve continued our summer operations. We’ve completed the A-1 well and have tested in in the Sterling. It is very productive in the Sterling,” Pinsonnault said. The field holds gas both in the Sterling formation and in the shallower Beluga formation.

Testing continues

With multiple well perforations in the Sterling, Furie is conducting tests in the well that will enable an understanding of the pressure relationships between the reservoir zones and hence establish an optimum production strategy. Furie is holding back on production from the Beluga until the Sterling is depleted, because the Beluga reservoirs tend to hold more water than does the Sterling - the need to deal with produced water adds to gas production costs. With testing in progress, and no gas flared from the field, the testing is resulting in some Sterling gas from the A-1 well already feeding into the overall field production, Pinsonnault said.

Work on the A-1 well has been progressing in parallel with the drilling of the A-4 well, a situation which has been challenging because the cantilevering of the large Spartan rig over the drilling deck of the small Julius R. platform precludes the concurrent operation of some other type of rig on the platform. Instead, the rig crew has been using wireline equipment to conduct the A-1 completion and testing work, Pinsonnault said,

Drilling to the Tyonek

At this point the drilling of the A-4 is progressing down towards the Tyonek, having already penetrated the Beluga. Intermediate casing has been set in the well.

“We cemented it and as of yesterday we’re back to drilling,” Pinsonnault said. It will likely take another seven to 10 days to drill down the remaining 3,600 feet into the “exploration tail” in the Tyonek, he said,

“We’re excited about that,” Pinsonnault said. “We have good reason to believe that it’s prospective. There’s a direct hydrocarbon indicator, a bright spot, on the seismic.”

If Furie meets with success in the Tyonek, the company will complete the well in that formation. Otherwise, the fallback position is to complete in the Beluga and produce from there. Either way, the company anticipates ending up with four producing wells, to meet a contractual requirement in the company’s gas supply agreement with gas utility Enstar Natural Gas Co.

And completion of the A-4 well will mark the end of this year’s Kitchen Lights drilling program.

Working on plan

In terms of drilling in future years, Furie is still working on a revised Kitchen Lights development plan, for filing with the Department of Natural Resources in early October.

“It will definitely be focused on more development activity in the existing field, because we’ve got production targets to maintain under our offtake agreement. So that’s obviously the most important thing for us,” Pinsonnault said.

The company is reviewing potential exploration projects but does not yet know what route it may take on these.

“That’s a work in progress,” Pinsonnault said.

In the coming winter, with four wells rather than two in operation, Furie wants to see how the Kitchen Lights production rates settle out during the winter months, when gas demand is high.

“Our goal is to meet our obligations under our contracts,” Pinsonnault said. “If we have excess gas leftover, we can sell it at spot, or put it into storage.”



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