BlueCrest plans offshore drilling, files modified plan of operations
BlueCrest Energy has applied to Alaska's Division of Oil and Gas for approval of a modification to its operations plan for the Cosmopolitan oil and gas field. The change to the plan would allow BlueCrest to drill an additional offshore delineation well in the field using a jack-up drilling rig, probably the Spartan 151 rig that is currently parked in the port of Seward.
One more wellBlueCrest's current plan of operations for the field allows the drilling of three oil and gas exploration wells in the field, one of which has already been drilled. The modified plan would allow a total of four offshore wells to be completed. Buccaneer Energy Ltd, the previous field operator, drilled the one completed offshore well in 2013 in partnership with BlueCrest, using the Endeavour jack-up rig that has since departed the inlet.
BlueCrest has been developing the field as an oil field, using extended reach drilling from an onshore pad on the Kenai Peninsula coast near Anchor Point. But the offshore well drilled in 2013 found a significant natural gas resource at a higher level in the subsurface than the oil. Because the gas is relatively shallow, it can only be developed and produced from offshore.
BlueCrest has envisaged developing the gas resource through the installation one or two offshore gas production platforms but has not yet decided whether to proceed with the gas development concept. It now appears that the company is considering some further evaluation of both the gas and the oil resources in the field, using offshore drilling. The company has previously said that it could start drilling for offshore gas this year.
The proposed new operations plan requests authorization to drill the offshore wells down through the oil bearing rock formations for the delineation of both oil and gas resources. Once the well logging and the oil evaluations have been completed, the wells would be plugged and abandoned below the lowest gas reservoir.
“The wells may be re-entered for gas production operations under a future development and production authorization,” the proposed operations plan says.
BlueCrest’s gas development concept involves two offshore production platform sites, designated the A site and the B site. The operations plan envisages a jack-up rig drilling the new wells from those two sites. Drilling may start with a single well in 2016, and then follow up with the two other wells in 2017. If drilling is delayed beyond 2016, two wells would be drilled in 2017 and the remaining well in 2018, the operations plan says.
General transportation of personnel and supplies to and from the jack-up would be by helicopters based in Homer or Kenai. Major supplies would be staged in Homer for shipment to the rig by supply vessel.
When in June of last year Alaska’s Division of Oil and Gas approved the formation of a unit for portions of the Cosmopolitan leases the division expressed concern about the need to fully delineate the field and required the submission of a plan, more fully spelling out how the delineation would be performed.
- ALAN BAILEY