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Hilcorp Alaska has applied to the Alaska Department of Natural Resources for an amendment to the plan of operations for the Susan Dionne pad in the Ninilchik unit on Alaska’s Kenai Peninsula, to allow the company to drill a 12,000-foot oil exploration well from the pad. The application says that the company may drill a second well if that first well proves successful.
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Hilcorp spokeswoman Lori Nelson told Petroleum News in an April 9 email that this will be the first well for some considerable time to target oil rather than gas in the Ninilchik unit. There have been six oil exploration wells previously drilled in the unit, with one of these, a well drilled in 1978 at Clam Gulch, having minimal oil shows, Nelson said.
The Ninilchik unit currently holds a large natural gas field that was discovered in 1961.
For the drilling, Hilcorp plans to use the first of two modern Saxon Energy Services drilling rigs it is bringing up from the Lower 48 to the Cook Inlet. The company anticipates mobilizing the rig to the Susan Dionne pad in June, Nelson said. According to Hilcorp’s application for its plan amendment, each exploration well should take about 60 days to drill, with well testing taking about 90 days.
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