Vol. 24, No.42 Week of October 20, 2019
Providing coverage of Alaska and northern Canada's oil and gas industry

First trident well 2020

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BlueCrest plans one or two wells in 2020 based on its successful fishbone design

Steve Sutherlin

for Petroleum News

BlueCrest Alaska Operating LLC plans to drill its first trident fishbone well in 2020 at the Cosmopolitan unit in Cook Inlet, the company said in its sixth plan of development for the unit, filed Sept. 30. The sixth POD covers the 2020 calendar year.

BlueCrest may drill two trident wells in its 2020 drilling program, according to the POD.

“BlueCrest has now advanced the evaluation of the drilling results from the H-16a fishbone well and H-4 fishbone well to the point where we are now ready to proceed with our drilling program,” BlueCrest said, adding that the company “has identified a location which will allow us to evaluate this new innovative trident well design.”

The company said it would file the 24 individual drilling permits required by the Alaska Oil and Gas Conservation Commission to drill the trident well, following successful confirmation of a pool rules application filed with the AOGCC in August.

BlueCrest initially filed for well spacing exceptions with AOGCC on June 10 for approval of 24 separate well spacing exception requests. AOGCC requested BlueCrest to complete a fieldwide development plan to avoid individual well spacing exceptions in the future, in the interest of avoiding excess workload for both BlueCrest and AOGCC over the course of development of the field.

Triple-efficient drilling innovation

The trident configuration involves the drilling of three fishbone wells into the Hansen oil pool from a single wellbore drilled 3 miles out and 1.5 miles down from the company's shore-based pad situated north of the city of Anchor Point on the lower Kenai Peninsula. Typically, the company drills up to an additional 1.5 miles into the formation from the point of contact with the reservoir.

“The fishbone wells achieve significantly more reservoir contact and penetration than conventional wells,” J. Benjamin Johnson, BlueCrest Energy CEO and president told Petroleum News.

“Each fishbone well contacts the same amount of reservoir rock as seven-nine individual horizontal wells, and each trident well should recover the same ultimate reserves as three fishbone wells since the reservoir contact is the same,” Johnson said, adding, “so, each trident well provides the same amount of reservoir contact as 21-27 individual wells.”

Under the original fishbone concept, one long horizontal “mainbore” runs along the bottom of the oil zone, from which multiple full diameter wellbores are drilled upward to penetrate individual productive oil sands.

The way the fishbone wells are drilled yields the equivalent of an 800-foot spacing well program, BlueCrest said in the POD.

“Each trident well saves five months to drill the wells that would reach the same reservoir penetration with just the fishbone wells,” Johnson said.

Using its powerful purpose commissioned directional drilling rig, BlueCrest Rig No. 1, the company can accurately steer paths of wells throughout the reservoirs.

Approach built on knowledge

BlueCrest has adapted its dynamic approach to the drilling program at Cosmopolitan based on the knowledge it has gained from each of the wells it has drilled.

After studying the results of the H-12 fishbone well and the H16a fishbone well, BlueCrest made the decision to drill the H-4 step out well – with seven individual permitted wells – to prove up the reserves on the previously untested south side of the structure.

“This well continues to substantiate the reserves and extent of the southern reservoir,” the company said, adding that the H-4 well, brought on production March 22, currently provides approximately 26% of its oil production.

Long term, BlueCrest plans to continue to develop the Starichkof / Hemlock oil reservoir while continuing to evaluate different secondary and enhanced oil recovery programs.

“Gas reservoir development will remain in a planning stage until market opportunities develop,” the company said.

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