Hilcorp bringing new rigs to Inlet

Hilcorp Energy is bringing more equipment to Cook Inlet to drill for oil and gas. The company is bringing two larger land drill rigs and is having two smaller workover rigs built for the company’s operations.

All four of the rigs are expected to be in Alaska this summer, Hilcorp spokeswoman Lori Nelson said.

“The land rigs are being brought to Alaska from Alberta by Saxon Energy Services of Calgary who will also operate the rigs, although Hilcorp will own them,” she said.

The first Saxon land rig will arrive in mid-May and will go to work in the Deep Creek Unit. The second unit arrives in mid-June and will work in the Swanson River field, Nelson said.

The workover rigs are being built by Louisiana-based Superior Derrick and will be operated by Moncla Drilling, also of Louisiana, which will own one of the rigs with Hilcorp owning the other, she said.

“The first workover rig is due to arrive in June and will be installed on the Granite Point platform in Cook Inlet. The second will be in Alaska in July and is scheduled for the Graying platform,” also in the Inlet, Nelson said.

Workover rigs are used to do major maintenance on wells, and these will be used to rehabilitate aged producing wells platforms, which were among the Chevron Corp. assets acquired by Hilcorp in 2012.

Nelson said Hilcorp is aggressively pursuing new production from the former Chevron properties, mostly oil-producing, as well as Marathon Oil Co. assets acquired in January, which are mostly natural gas.

One success the company is having is in bringing back oil production at Swanson River, a Kenai Peninsula field that has been producing since 1959, she said. Swanson River was producing about 450 barrels per day when Hilcorp acquired it from Chevron in early 2012 and is now producing about 2,000 barrels per day.

“At Swanson River we drilled two wells and three ‘side-track’ wells (wells drilled underground off old wells) and brought 11 shut-in wells back to production,” Nelson said. “In 2013 we plan seven to 10 new wells at Swanson River,and plan ‘workovers’ (major maintenance) on another 8 to 12 wells with a focus of returning production and injection wells to service,” she said.

Hilcorp also has a three-dimensional seismic survey under way at its Deep Creek gas field on the Kenai Peninsula that is expected to be completed this month, Nelson said. Dry Creek is a small producing field that is east of Ninilchik.

Hilcorp spent $238 million in Cook Inlet in 2012 but will increase its investment to between $300 million and $350 million in 2013, she said.

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