September 05, 2000 --- Vol. 6, No. 43September 2000

NANA, Cominco, ARI win Energy Department project grant

The Department of Energy said Sept. 5 that it has added five new projects to its natural gas research program, one of them a micro-drilling project focused on Interior Alaska.

The projects are the latest to be selected from a broad-ranging competition conducted for the Energy Department's Office of Fossil Energy by the National Energy Technology Laboratory. The five projects have a total value approaching $7 million, $4.7 million of which will be the federal government's share.

The Alaska project will examine new drilling approaches for the Arctic. NANA Development Corp. and Cominco will team with ARI of Arlington, Va., on a miniature mobile drilling project.

The Energy Department noted that small bore drilling can save costs and result in smaller, more mobile drilling systems.

The NANA-Cominco-ARI project project team will develop tools, techniques and algorithms for drilling wells of less than three inches in diameter in Arctic conditions, the department said.

A conceptual design of a miniature mobile system for drilling gas wells in remote locations will be developed. With a "footprint" one-third that of a conventional drill rig, the proposed slimhole system could be capable of drilling wells as less than 20 percent of today's costs, the department said. The technology could be especially useful for producing natural gas for remote Native Alaska villages.

The Energy Department will be contributing $440,000 of the $1,065,000 cost for the two-year project, with the participants contributing $625,000.

August ANS production up slightly

August production of Alaska North Slope crude oil averaged 936,139 barrels a day, up 0.2 percent (1,927 barrels a day) from the July average of 934,212 barrels a day.

Production from the Kuparuk River field (Kuparuk, Tarn, Tabasco) averaged 226,592 barrels a day in August, up 2.5 percent from a July average of 221,180 barrels a day (a 5,412 barrel a day average increase). At Prudhoe Bay, August production averaged 529,089 barrels a day, up 1.1 percent from the July average of 523,402 barrels a day (a 5,687 barrel a day average increase).

August production at other North Slope fields declined from July, with Lisburne (Lisburne, Niakuk, Point McIntyre) dropping 8.1 percent, to 89,369 barrels a day, from a July average of 97,209 barrels a day (an average drop of 7,840 barrels a day).

Production at Endicott averaged 38,600 barrels a day in August, down 1.6 percent (606 barrels) from July's average of 39,206 barrels a day. Milne Point averaged 52,489 barrels a day in August, down 1.4 percent from July's average of 53,215.

Cook Inlet production averaged 28,042 barrels a day in August, down 598 barrels a day (2.1 percent) from July's average of 28,640 barrels a day.

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