Escopeta Oil Company announced a significant natural gas discovery in Cook Inlet on Friday evening. It’s a find the company says could be the largest natural gas discovery in the inlet in at least 25 years.
An estimated 3.5 trillion cubic feet of natural gas was found in the Sterling and Beluga formations within the Kitchen Lights Unit, about 10 miles north of Nikiski, where Escopeta is drilling from the Spartan 151 jack-up rig, according to a news release issued by the company.
“Escopeta is very excited by the results of this well, especially since we are only half-way down to the planned total depth,” said Bruce Webb, Escopeta vice president for governmental and regulatory affairs, in the press release. “... The Kitchen Lights Unit No. 1 well is just the first of five wells currently planned in the Kitchen Lights Unit. The results from just the top half of our first well are sufficient to commence planning and engineering for commercial gas production.”
The Kitchen Lights Unit No. 1 well has been drilled to a depth of 8,805 feet, resulting in the discovery of 46.7 billion cubic feet of natural gas from that single well, the company announced.
Due to seasonal drilling restrictions stemming from ice in Cook Inlet, Escopeta has suspended the well for this year and will re-enter it next year to complete drilling to a depth of approximately 16,500 feet, into the Jurassic Formation.
The Spartan 151 arrived in Cook Inlet in August and is the first jack-up rig to explore the offshore oil and gas formations in the area in nearly two decades, according to the news release. The well was spudded on Sept. 2.