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Vol. 11, No. 2 Week of January 08, 2006
Providing coverage of Alaska and northern Canada's oil and gas industry

Oil Patch Insider

Storm Cat mobilizes Kuukpik rig for Mat-Su gas drilling

Storm Cat Energy Corp. has contracted Kuukpik Drilling LLC to mobilize a rig to drill a well near Big Lake in Alaska’s Matanuska-Susitna Borough, north of Anchorage, Scott Zimmerman, president and CEO of Storm Cat told Petroleum News on Jan. 4. Drill site construction will start some time next week, with a spud date in mid to late January — the spud date will depend on Storm Cat obtaining permits that are currently being processed, Zimmerman said.

Conventional natural gas

If all goes according to plan the Kuukpik No. 5 rig will drill the well to a conventional gas prospect in the Tyonek formation at a depth of about 7,500 feet. The well will be on an Alaska Mental Health Trust lease. Zimmerman hopes to have results from the well in late February or early March, following drilling, testing and evaluation.

“Northern Dancer No. 1 is the well name,” Zimmerman said. “… It’s close to the Big Lake No. 1 well.”

Pan American Petroleum Corp. drilled the (USA) Big Lake No. 1 well in 1968 to a depth of 6,026 feet at section 1, township 15 north, range 4 west of the Seward meridian. The Alaska Oil and Gas Commission records for that well do not appear to indicate any oil or gas shows, although at that time Pan American would have been exploring for oil.

Zimmerman said that Storm Cat’s well will be located about 6 miles from the Enstar gas pipeline that transports gas into the Mat-Su Borough and Anchorage.

Alaska-based consultants Arlen Ehm, Corri Feigi and Mike Belowich helped Storm Cat identify the prospect using 2D seismic data, Zimmerman said.

Although the focus of the Northern Dancer No 1 well will be conventional natural gas, Storm Cat will evaluate any coalbed methane potential.

“We will be going through coal formations and, while we won’t be testing them, we’ll be able to evaluate them through log characteristics and gas shows,” Zimmerman said.

Canadian company

Storm Cat is registered in British Columbia and has offices in Denver, Calgary and Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia. According to the company’s web site “Storm Cat Energy is a rapidly growing exploration company focusing on developing unconventional natural gas reserves globally.”

The company first entered the Alaska oil and gas scene when it purchased two leases near Big Lake in the Alaska Mental Health Trust Land Office November 2004 lease sale. The company went on to purchase eight nearby leases in the State of Alaska’s May 2005 Cook Inlet areawide lease sale.

“The recent (state) acreage we picked up complements the Mental Health Trust acreage, so we’re putting together the acreage position for both conventional gas and coalbed methane,” Zimmerman said after the state lease sale. “… Storm Cat believes in the potential of north Cook Inlet and that we’ll be able to (work) in an environmentally safe and sound manner.”

Although Storm Cat has been using a team of Alaska consultants, the establishment of a company office in Alaska will depend on drilling success at this “or the next couple of wells,” Zimmerman said. Meanwhile the company is making use of Alaska services and personnel.

“We are using local Big Lake area contractors and services from Alaska,” Zimmerman said.

—Alan Bailey



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