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Vol. 16, No. 7 Week of February 13, 2011
Providing coverage of Alaska and northern Canada's oil and gas industry

NordAq spuds Shadura natural gas exploration well near Nikiski

NordAq Energy Inc. has spudded its Shadura No. 1 gas exploration well on the Kenai Peninsula in Southcentral Alaska.

The company said in a Feb. 5 news release that it had completed the ice road and ice pad to support drilling of its Shadura No. 1 exploration well and spudded the well.

Shadura is on Cook Inlet Region Inc. subsurface in the Kenai National Wildlife Refuge northeast of Nikiski.

NordAq is an Alaska-based oil and gas exploration company, and said it was encouraged through the project by CIRI, the owner of the subsurface estate, and received assistance from numerous local companies.

“NordAq is an early stage company,” Robert Warthen, NordAq’s president and major shareholder, said in a statement. “We would not have been able to establish ourselves without the encouragement of these groups, and we are particularly grateful for their support.”

Warthen said “NordAq is keenly aware of its duties to the natural environment,” and while it could have built a gravel road, “decided to build an ice road and pad. If we are unsuccessful in finding gas, the road and pad will eventually melt returning the surrounding environment to its original state.”

Historic gas producing zones

The company said the well targets historic Cook Inlet gas producing zones.

NordAq will use Glacier Drilling Rig No. 1 to drill the well, which is targeting potential gas horizons in the Upper and Middle Tyonek formation and a total depth of 14,556 feet.

The shallower Beluga formation is a secondary objective, the company said.

The pad and most of the ice road are on surface lands managed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, west of the Swanson River field.

An environmental assessment for the project issued last year said the Shadura exploration activities are pursuant to an agreement with CIRI on 10,800 acres of CIRI subsurface estate holdings. The Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act allows for access to CIRI subsurface inholdings within the Kenai National Wildlife Refuge for exploration, testing and development of hydrocarbons.

The environmental assessment said CIRI has received entitlements to some 200,000 acres of subsurface estate adjacent to the leases being explored by NordAq under provisions of the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act, and has development rights to oil, gas and coal resources on those lands.

—Kristen Nelson



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