Vol. 26, No.31 Week of August 01, 2021
Providing coverage of Alaska and northern Canada's oil and gas industry

Seaview producing gas

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Hilcorp Anchor Point gas field began producing in June; 2nd well planned

Kristen Nelson

Petroleum News

Hilcorp has a new field in production.

June oil and gas production data, released in late July by the Alaska Oil and Gas Conservation Commission, show the company’s Seaview gas field on the southern Kenai Peninsula came online in June, with production totaling 21,352 thousand cubic feet over the 30 days of the month, an average of 712 mcf per day.

Seaview is the first new field Hilcorp has brought online since it began operating in Alaska some 10 years ago, acquiring assets in Cook Inlet from Union Oil Company of California and, later, from Marathon. The company’s forte is acquisition of mature fields and development of remaining reserves, but it has been exploring in Cook Inlet, looking at prospects offshore and on the west side, as well as on the Kenai Peninsula. It plans to begin exploratory drilling at Whiskey Gulch, north of Seaview, this summer.

The company also has Interior stratigraphic tests planned for this summer.

Hilcorp is the inlet’s largest oil and gas producer. It already operates 15 Cook Inlet fields - Seaview makes 16.

On the North Slope, Hilcorp is the operator at Prudhoe Bay, Endicott, the Liberty prospect, Milne Point and Northstar. It initially partnered with BP on Endicott, Milne Point and Northstar, and then acquired BP’s Alaska assets when that company left the state, with field acquisition closing last summer.

The new Cook Inlet field, Seaview, is producing from the No. 8 well, drilled in 2018 and tested in 2019. Scheduled to begin last year, production was delayed awaiting completion of a 2-mile pipeline which required horizontal directional drilling at two crossings beneath the Anchor River. The HDD work was not completed until this summer.

Hilcorp has permitted a second well, Seaview 9, with drilling scheduled for this summer, following stratigraphic tests in 2019 and 2020.

Gas pipeline

In a February presentation, Jennifer Starck, Hilcorp Alaska Kenai team lead, discussed the Seaview pipeline situation.

She said production, expected to begin in late 2020, was delayed by difficulties in making two horizontal directional drilling crossings under the Anchor River.

“Because of the location of this pad, we’ve got some very difficult connections to get this gas into market,” Starck said.

The HDD crossings under the Anchor River were attempted by a local contractor in 2020, but that work was unsuccessful, so Hilcorp is bringing up a specialist company from the Lower 48, she said.

Hilcorp secured the services of a world-class HDD contractor, Michels Corp. “Fortunately for us, they were one of the pipeline contractors that were secured for the Keystone pipeline and now they’ve got some free space in their calendar, and they’re going to be coming up and helping us install our HDD under the Anchor River,” Starck said.

On its website, Michels said it was contracted to install two sections of a 10-inch pipeline at Anchor River, one section some 1,700 linear feet and the other some 2,100 linear feet. Timeline for the work was March and April, Michels said.

Starck said crews would mobilize in March to complete the pipeline work, with Seaview anticipated to come online in the summer.

“Once we get the pipeline in place, we’ll be drilling additional penetrations in Seaview to get more gas to market,” she said.

Seaview wells

In its application for a spacing exception for Seaview 9, Hilcorp told AOGCC that the well would be drilled from the Seaview pad on privately owned property within the field, which is near Anchor Point. Drilling operations were expected to begin in mid-June, the company said, but would have begun later, as the well was not permitted until June 24. The company said Seaview 9 would be a grassroots delineation well some 1.5 miles south of Anchor Point targeting potential gas-bearing sands in the Beluga and Tyonek formations. AOGCC has classified Seaview 9 as an exploratory well.

Seaview 8, drilled in 2018 and completed in 2019, reached a measured depth of 10,621 feet. In a May 20 hearing before the commission on proposed pool rules for Seaview, Hilcorp told the commission the Beluga and Tyonek formations are the main gas source at Seaview.

The Sterling, Beluga and Tyonek formations are generally accepted, Hilcorp said in a geologic report submitted prior to the pool rules hearing, to be “part of a self-sourcing natural gas petroleum system - that is, the substantial Tertiary coal measures of the Sterling, Beluga and Tyonek formations generate dry methane gas that migrates into, and is trapped within, adjacent sandstone reservoirs.”

The geologic report and an accompanying reservoir report both said economic production at Seaview would require commingling gas from the Beluga and Tyonek sands. Since the gas-bearing sands are discontinuous and there will be commingling of sands within wellbores, “it will be difficult to accurately measure depletion and recovery of individual sands.”

When AOGCC issued approval for production from Seaview 8 last fall, it noted “commercial quantities of gas in four zones in the Tyonek formation.”

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