Providing coverage of Alaska and northern Canada's oil and gas industry
June 2024

Vol. 29, No.23 Week of June 09, 2024

Hilcorp applies for new disposal well

Ninilchik Susan Dionne 8 would be converted to Class II underground injection control well, handle Ninilchik, other Hilcorp fields

Kristen Nelson

Petroleum News

Hilcorp Alaska has applied to the Alaska Oil and Gas Conservation Commission to convert a former Ninilchik unit production well, Susan Dionne 8, to a Class II underground injection control, UIC, well, servicing the Ninilchik and Deep Creek units, the Red Pad at Nikolaevsk as well as developments to the south.

The company has also applied for an aquifer exemption for the Susan Dionne 8. The aquifer exemption would be for an area extending one-quarter mile beyond the proposed injection area in sections 6 and 7 of township 1 south, range 13 west, Seward Meridian, within the boundaries of the Ninilchik unit, AOGCC said in its public notice for the aquifer exemption.

Deep Creek unit NNA 1

Hilcorp said in its May 15 application for the conversion to a Class II disposal well that produced water from the Ninilchik operations, and from Deep Creek and Nikolaevsk, is currently hauled by truck to Deep Creek unit NNA 1 for disposal. That well is 7.5 miles inland from Ninilchik "and accessed via an unpaved road that is subject to closure in inclement weather," the company said. NNA 1's remote location relative to Ninilchik unit infrastructure and daily use mean "the NNA pad must be frequently monitored and requires dedicated resources for trucking and injection pump operation."

The company said both ongoing Ninilchik production and additional developments at that unit, along with "prospects farther south at Cottonfield, Whiskey Gulch, and Seaview," are all dependent on disposal at NNA 1.

Approval of a Class II disposal well at Susan Dionne 8 would "enhance operational flexibility and reliability at existing operations, reduce resource constraints, add redundancy to NU's disposal capacity, and facilitate new development at NU and the surrounding areas in the Kenai Peninsula," Hilcorp said.

Susan Dionne pad, site of the Susan Dionne 8 well, is reached via a short access road off the Sterling Highway. There are multiple producers on the pad so the "facility is continuously operated and supervised."

Upon approval of the disposal application, Hilcorp said it "will install a produced water injection module, a 200-barrel produced water tank, and all associated piping electrical, and instrumentation/control tie-ins at Susan Dionne pad."

The company said injection activity at Susan Dionne will occur "without additional supervision and allow for more consistent, efficient operations."

Susan Dionne 8 was drilled in 2013 as an oil exploration well. It operated as a gas producer with various configurations until 2018 and has remained offline since. Hilcorp said there are not any future gas development opportunities in the well.

Aquifer exemption

In its May 15 application for an aquifer exemption Hilcorp said the disposal zone for the Susan Dionne 8 would be in the Beluga 135 sand between approximately 3,700 and 3,900 feet true vertical depth and within one-quarter mile of the Hilcorp property at Susan Dionne 8.

There are numerous confining layers between the top depth of the intended disposal zone and shallow sources of existing drinking water wells, with the layers ranging from a few inches to as much as 8 feet thick.

The nearest groundwater wells range from 50 to 257 feet deep, with the closest well, within a quarter mile of the proposed disposal well, a Hilcorp well on the Susa Dionne pad which supplies water to the facility. Nine private residence wells are within about a mile radius.

Samples collected from the Susan Dionne 1A at a depth of some 3,607 feet TVD showed many contaminants in excess of the state's groundwater cleanup levels described in regulations, requiring water treatment systems necessary to make the water fit for consumption.

Hilcorp discussed requirements to produce drinking water from some 3,500 feet and said it would cost some $3 million initially to drill the well, which would require a specialized drilling rig, with $1.2 million required for the required electrical submersible pumps to bring the water to the surface, facilities to power such a water system estimated at a capital cost of some $95,000 and the power supply at some $138,000 per year.

Compared to the typical cost of some $21,250 to drill a private or small commercial public water system well in the area, costs for a deep water well, the company said, would make it impractical for a private residence of small non-community public water system to recovery water from the proposed exempted aquifer for drinking water purposes.

Tentative hearings

AOGCC has tentatively scheduled hearings on both requests -- the aquifer exemption and the conversion of Susan Dionne 8 to a Class II UIC well -- for 10 a.m. July 16 at its Anchorage offices The call-in number for the hearings is 907-202-7104, conference ID 977 858 930#.

The commission said that if it does not receive a timely request for the hearings to be held, it may issue orders without a hearing.

Requests that the tentative hearings be held must be filed with AOGCC in writing by 4:30 p.m. June 17.

To learn if the hearings will be held, call 907-793-1223 after June 18.

Petroleum News - Phone: 1-907 522-9469
[email protected] --- https://www.petroleumnews.com ---

Copyright Petroleum Newspapers of Alaska, LLC (Petroleum News)(PNA)�1999-2019 All rights reserved. The content of this article and website may not be copied, replaced, distributed, published, displayed or transferred in any form or by any means except with the prior written permission of Petroleum Newspapers of Alaska, LLC (Petroleum News)(PNA). Copyright infringement is a violation of federal law.