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Shut-in oil well flows again

Independent continues development in Cook Inlet

Posted: July 25, 2011 - 8:00am  |  Updated: July 25, 2011 - 9:01am

Alaska-based independent Cook Inlet Energy has restarted a second shut-in oil well on the Osprey platform on the west side of Cook Inlet.

With the new well on line, Cook Inlet is now producing about 1,200 to 1,300 barrels per day of crude oil from two producing wells on the Osprey in addition to the two wells in the nearby onshore West McArthur River field, also owned and operated by Cook Inlet, company CEO David Hall said.

The two wells were restarted by replacing submerged pumps installed by original field developer, Forest Oil Corp. Cook Inlet acquired the Redoubt Shoal offshore field and West McArthur River onshore field two years ago following the bankruptcy of Pacific Energy Corp., which had purchased the assets from Forest Oil.

“The Osprey wells are doing well, and are performing better than they did prior to the shutdown of the platform,” when Pacific Energy filed for bankruptcy, Hall said.

Cook Inlet now plans to install a drilling rig on the platform this fall and has identified candidates for sidetracks at four other shut-in wells on the Osprey, which can be drilled once the rig is installed.

“We purchased a rig in Houston valued at about $18 million. It is now undergoing modifications and will be shipped to Alaska in the next three weeks,” Hall said.

The company also has a smaller rig at the West McArthur field intended for working over oil wells at that field and drilling shallow gas prospects in the area, Hall said.

That rig, owned by Cook Inlet’s parent company, Miller Energy of Tennessee, was brought to Alaska last year and is undergoing modifications for winter operations, he said.

Hall said there are good prospects for additional oil discoveries on Cook Inlet’s west side, and the plans by other companies to bring two jack-up rigs to the Inlet could add momentum.

Cook Inlet is also engaged in a study of a possible cross-Inlet oil pipeline that would lower the cost of shipping crude from the west side to Tesoro Petroleum’s refinery near Kenai.

Shipments of crude produced by Cook Inlet and Chevron on the west side are now shipped by tanker across the Inlet, which costs about $5 per barrel, Hall said. It costs Cook Inlet a total of about $14 per barrel to get its crude to Tesoro including the tanker charge and a pipeline tariff to a loading terminal south of the producing fields.

The additional Cook Inlet production helps Tesoro because its plant was originally designed for light Cook Inlet crude. With the decline in Cook Inlet production over the years Tesoro has had to purchase North Slope crude, which is more sour than Cook Inlet oil, and to import oil from overseas.

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spwright 07/25/11 - 03:32 pm
Alaska Military Veterans Hired ? 7/25/11

Mon. 7/25/11
Just curious ? How many of Our Alaska Military Veterans
have been Hired by Cook Inlet Energy & other contractors
on this New Drilling Project ?

Anyone got a answer to that Question ?

SPW "Airborne"

JOAT 07/26/11 - 08:28 am

Why are you asking? I'm a military vet and I work in the oil industry. I'd venuture a guess that about half the folks working in the oil industry are vets. Military service is not a direct link into the oil industry, however. The best option for any recently ETS'd military is to take that GI Bill and head straight to college. If you want to work in the oil field, get a petro related degree. The oil industry has very high standards and experience/education requirements.

Before looking for a numerical answer to your question, I'd want to know the number of military vets who applied to work in the oil industry. One number without the other is meaningless.

Aside from all of this, it's a sign of relief to finally see some oil drilling being planned for Cook Inlet. Lord knows we need the fuel, jobs, and economics of oil in this region.

spwright 07/26/11 - 08:48 am
Reply to JOAT

Tue. am 7/26/11
The Unemployment rate for Iraq & Afghanistan Military Veterans is currently 27%

This group of Americans more than any other has EARNED the opportunity for employment & should be moved to the Front of the Line for Job Interviews.

Yes I agree with many of your issues about education & preparing for Oil Industry Jobs. But I also know of the
Oil Industry "Good Ole Boy" network.

& Yes it's Great that there is FINALLY New Drilling & Developement in the Cook Inlet !

SPW "Airborne"

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