Providing coverage of Alaska and northern Canada's oil and gas industry
April 2020

Vol. 25, No.16 Week of April 19, 2020

State approves 2 Cook Inlet Energy PODs

Division of Oil & Gas approves plans for Redoubt; on West McArthur River, wants action on items that have been in planning stage

Kristen Nelson

Petroleum News

The Alaska Division of Oil and Gas has approved Cook Inlet Energy’s plan of development for Redoubt Shoal but warned in approving the West McArthur River plan that it wants to see the company move ahead with projects that have been in the planning stage, including the Sabre project. Cook Inlet Energy is a Glacier Oil and Gas company.

The plans for both units cover May 2020 through April 2021.


In calendar year 2019 Redoubt produced 435,350 barrels of oil and 92.218 million cubic feet of natural gas, the division said. The field is produced from the Osprey platform.

In its plan the company lists four wells which are producing oil, two wells used for waterflood and one well used for disposal. Two wells are shut-in, one for water loading issues and one for electronic submersible pump failure.

During the 2019 POD the company drilled and completed a sidetrack of the RU-6 well to the RU-6A well and is using it as a water injection well to enhance field production and expand water handling capacity. The company also replaced the ESP in RU-2A and added additional perforations.

The division said the company’s plans for the new POD, the 20th for the field, include: adding perforations and re-stimulating the RU-6A water injection well to enhance injection capacity; examining results of current and planned enhanced recovery waterflood efforts and where appropriate sidetrack or drill additional wells for water injection; and replacing existing 8-inch three-phase subsea line pig launcher and add a pig receiver on the 8-inch produced water line enabling inline inspections during the summer.

The division said that, as indicated in the approved 2019 POD, the company is deferring change out of the failed ESP in the RU-9 and possible hydraulic fracturing until the third quarter of 2020.

The division approved the POD for Redoubt.

West McArthur River

The division had reservations about the POD for West McArthur River, but did approve it.

In calendar year 2019 West McArthur River produced 183,338 barrels of oil and 34.801 million cubic feet of natural gas. the company shows two producing wells at the field, one disposal well and five wells shut-in, due to failed jet pump; water handling capacity issues; gas completion unsuccessful; water injection candidate; and failed ESP.

The division said that in its last POD the company conducted small optimization and well maintenance operations to prolong field life, obtained authorization from the Alaska Oil and Gas Conservation Commission to engage in disposal of Class II exempt waste fluids and implemented produced water gathering and disposal process.

For the 2020-21 POD, the 29th for West McArthur River, the company plans to continue evaluation of disposing produced water by converting currently shut-in wells at the field to produced water disposal wells and injecting excess produced water into the Hemlock formation; continue exploring ways to enhance production, manage production decline and increase total ultimate recovery from existing wells within the unit; and continue to permit drilling plans for the Sabre project.

The division said while the POD protects the public interest “by continuing and maintaining production from the WMRU,” the company’s commitments for the unit remain unchanged from the previous POD.

Sabre, free-water knockout

The division said permitting drilling plans for Sabre has been an ongoing commitment since the 2017 POD, and noted that it told the company in approving the last plan in April 2019 that it expected the company “to provide specific reasons either for deferring or discontinuing” the Sabre project and removing it from future proposed work commitments.

“Glacier has indicated that it means to pursue the project carefully, and continues to seek partners in the Sabre project all the while exploring the use of a jack-up drilling rig to drill the Sabre exploratory well,” the division said, adding that under current market conditions it acknowledges the cautious approach “and anticipates periodic updates from Glacier during this POD period as to its progress regarding this project.”

The division also noted that the decrease in production at the WMRU (for oil, from 326,260 barrels in calendar year 2018 to 183,338 barrels in 2019), is due in part to ESP failure. “WMRU production entails a balancing of well service costs against the value of the oil production and ESP repair would boost the amount of water that must be handled at the WMRU,” the division said, noting that the company in its previous plan referred to evaluating a free-water knockout at WMRU and selecting that option over a pipeline to the Kustatan processing facility, with evaluation and design of a free-water knockout system also included in the current plan.

The division said it was its view “that Glacier’s commitment to enhancing production from the WMRU is in keeping with repairing the ESP in a well that produces approximately 25% of the production from the unit,” and the division is therefore requesting that “Glacier complete an analysis of the free-water knockout system and ESP repair on the Sword well as stated in its proposed 29th POD for the 2020-21 POD period and present the results of its evaluation within the last quarter of the 2020-21 POD period.” The division said the analysis should include a complete evaluation of the unit’s current status and options for proceeding under a proposed plan.

The division also requested that the company “create a projection that models production from all serviceable shut-in wells, including incremental unit production rates after installation of increased fluid handling capacity,” which should be provided when the company submits its 2021-22 POD, “and should be reflected in the proposed 2021-22 POD.”

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