Providing coverage of Alaska and northern Canada's oil and gas industry
April 2021

Vol. 26, No.14 Week of April 04, 2021

No current Pretty Creek gas production

Hilcorp has increased production at Ivan River, another west side field, and is looking at ways to restore Pretty Creek production

Kristen Nelson

Petroleum News

Pretty Creek, one of Hilcorp Alaska’s three small west side natural gas fields, last produced in 2019, the company said in the 43rd plan of development for the Pretty Creek unit, a revised version of which was submitted to the Alaska Division of Oil and Gas March 22.

Alaska Oil and Gas Conservation Commission records show a 1979 discovery well, the Pretty Creek Unit 2, drilled by Chevron USA Inc., with measured and true vertical depths of 12,025 feet. Production began in December 1986 and continued through January 1999, resuming in December 2001 with some breaks until April 2011 when it became more sporadic - months with no production - becoming quite sporadic until it was resumed on a regular basis from February 2018 through August 2019. Total production for the year in 2017 was 2,540 thousand cubic feet, with production in only five months. In 2018, with production in 11 months of that year, the total was 52,703 mcf and in 2019, with substantial production in only the first seven months of the year, the total was 46,208 mcf.

The company’s 2020 POD called for an evaluation of shut-in wells and for maintenance of production from the Beluga participating area.

“Hilcorp did not conduct any big projects for the 2020 POD period,” the company told the division in reviewing what had been done during the 2020 plan year. “There was no gas production from the Beluga PA during the 2020 POD period.”

No native gas was produced from the Beluga PA during the 2020 POD period, Hilcorp said, after the PC 02 wells saw several months of increasing water production.

Hilcorp said it has attempted to flow the PC 02 well, but efforts were unsuccessful.

“It is predicted that the well is currently filled with a combination of water and sand,” the company told the division.

Regional study

Hilcorp did a regional study in 2020 of the Sterling sands in its west side gas fields - Pretty Creek, Ivan River and Lewis River.

“The first Sterling perforations from this study took place in Ivan River in Q3-Q4 2020, which proved to be very successful,” the company said.

AOGCC records show that Ivan River natural gas production increased substantially beginning in July 2020, with production growing to almost 10,000 mcf per day in February, the most recent month for which production data are available.

Hilcorp said “the same Sterling sands have been correlated to Pretty Creek and Lewis River’s structures,” and said it plans to begin perforating additional Sterling sands at Lewis River and Pretty Creek this year.

AOGCC records show five wells drilled at Pretty Creek, three of which are plugged and abandoned.

Pretty Creek Unit 2 is a single completion gas well; Pretty Creek Unit 4 is a gas storage well.

In describing plans for the 2021 POD - effective June 1 through May 31, 2022 - Hilcorp told the division that some of the Sterling sands in the PC 4 well “appear to have commercial potential,” but said that well “is not currently setup for native gas production, as it’s currently being utilized for gas storage.” The company said it is evaluating a “twin” well to PC 4 to access the Sterling sands and said the well would either be a sidetrack of PC 2 or a grassroots well. Drilling would likely take place in the winter months of 2022-23 if proposed additional perforations in PC 2 are unsuccessful.

Hilcorp said there are two additional target Sterling sands in the PC 2 wells “that appear to have commercial potential,” but are not accessible by wireline “due to fill in the well.”

A coiled tubing fill cleanout on PC 2 is planned to access the sands and following that, “the current producing sands will be shut off, in order to isolate the existing water/sand production,” Hilcorp said. “Wireline will then be brought out to perforate the additional Sterling intervals,” work currently planned for the third quarter of this year.

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