Hilcorp plans exploratory well inside the Beluga River unit
for Petroleum News
Hilcorp Alaska has filed a proposed modification to its Beluga River unit plan of development, saying that in the fourth quarter of this year the company plans to drill a new well in the unit into rock formations below the current field reservoirs. Since the well will test for new hydrocarbon resources in the unit, the Alaska Oil and Gas Conservation Commission classifies the well as exploratory. The new well will be drilled from the K pad in the unit, the site of an existing gas production well in the more northerly part of the unit. Hilcorp has applied to the Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation for a modification to its oil spill contingency plan for Cook Inlet exploration, to accommodate the exploratory drilling from K pad.
According to the plan of development amendment, the drilling of the new well results from a recent farmout agreement between Hilcorp and Chugach Electric Association. Hilcorp and Chugach Electric jointly own the Beluga River gas field, with Hilcorp as field operator. There are untested rock strata below the currently producing gas reservoirs.
The farmout agreement requires Hilcorp to drill the new well to test rock formations at depths below 7,000 feet, where Chugach Electric owns a 100% working interest. Under the agreement, upon completion of the well Hilcorp would acquire a 33.33% working interest in the deeper formations, thus aligning the working interest in these formations with the working interests in the shallower sections of the unit.
Depending on what is found in the deeper formations, Hilcorp may also perforate the new well at shallower depths in the Sterling and Beluga formations, the proposed POD amendment says.
- ALAN BAILEY