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Vol. 17, No. 49 Week of December 02, 2012
Providing coverage of Alaska and northern Canada's oil and gas industry

Hilcorp applies for Deep Creek survey

Hilcorp Alaska has applied to Alaska’s Division of Oil and Gas for a permit to conduct a 3-D seismic survey in and around the Deep Creek unit near Ninilchik on Alaska’s Kenai Peninsula. Deep Creek is a gas field that Hilcorp acquired in January as part of the company’s purchase of Chevron’s Cook Inlet assets.

The planned survey would cover an area of about 32,000 acres, including 19,000 acres of Deep Creek oil and gas leases. The survey area includes land owned by the State of Alaska, Cook Inlet Region Inc. and private landowners. In its permit application, Hilcorp says that it hopes to start the survey at the beginning of December and that it anticipates the survey taking 120 days to complete.

However, the public comment period for the permit application does not end until Dec. 21.

“All project operations will occur onshore, outside of marine and tidal environments, and during the winter season when frozen ground and/or snow cover will provide protection of environmental and other resources in the area,” the application says. “Access will be via existing roads and trails, where possible, and via helicopter where land access is restricted.”

The project will conclude by May 15, the application says.

Access straightforward

The survey will involve detonating small, underground explosive charges at depths of about 30 feet, with the charge holes plugged to prevent blowout and surface disturbance. Because of extensive logging and previous 2-D seismic surveying in the area, Hilcorp anticipates access to much of the area being relatively straightforward, although the company expects to have to clear some brush and small trees at some locations.

Track-mounted drilling rigs will drill the holes for the explosive charges, while access to the survey area for setting charges and laying geophones, the devices used to record subsurface echoes from the detonations, will be by tracked vehicle, helicopter and foot. Geophones will be laid at 220-foot intervals. Hilcorp anticipates using existing gravel pads for staging equipment and for fuel storage, the application says.

—Alan Bailey



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