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Vol. 15, No. 46 Week of November 14, 2010
Providing coverage of Alaska and northern Canada's oil and gas industry

The Explorers 2010: Rutter & Wilbanks Corp.

The Texas-based independent Rutter and Wilbanks remained persistent in the face of continued challenges during its five years in Alaska, but no longer appears to have immediate exploration plans. Rutter arrived in Alaska in 2004, taking a farm-out option on leases in the Copper River basin that hadnít been explored in years, but faced obstacles each time it tried to develop gas resources in the region. In 2005, the company hit high pressure with the Ahtna 1-19 well. In the fall of 2006, the company got stuck again on its second attempt to drill. A 2007 sidetrack called Ahtna 1-19A found gas, but the gas came with excessive amounts of water that challenged the viability of the well.

In order to focus on Glennallen, Rutter pulled back from two other projects in the state, the Umiat oil prospect along the Colville River and the Northern Lights gas prospect in the waters of the upper Cook Inlet. The company hoped to drill again at Glennallen in 2008, but trouble landing a rig forced another delay. Rutter finally drilled a sidetrack in September 2009, but by the end of the month announced that it had given up on the Copper River basin after spending more than $20 million over five years. Rutter went from leasing some 1,580 acres in Alaska in September 2009 to just 320 acres today.

Current exploration focus:

Interior Alaska: Rutter and Wilbanks spent years exploring for natural gas in the Copper River Basin near Glennallen, but does not have any current exploration plans in Alaska.



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