Jack-up rigs back to work

Two jack-up rigs are back at work in Cook Inlet. The Spartan 151 rig drilling for Furie Operating Alaska is on location at the company’s new Kitchen Lights Unit No. 3 well and was installing casing prior to the start of drilling, company officials said May 1.


Furie moved the Spartan 151 from its winter storage at Port Graham on March 19 and was on location in North Cook Inlet on March 20.

A second jack-up rig, the Endeavour, is on location three miles off Anchor Point, also installing casing in preparation for drilling. The Endeavour is working for Buccaneer Energy, which is also one of the rig owners.

The Endeavour was in Homer through the winter to allow modifications and inspections on the rig, and was moved to its location near Anchor Point in March.

Spartan Drilling Company, which owns the Spartan 151, is providing crews and is operating both jack-up rigs.

Furie’s KLU-3 well is 1,400 feet from the company’s KLU-1 well drilled in late 2011 and is being drilled to do an extended production test of natural gas discovered in the KLU-1 well, said Bruce Webb, a vice president for Furie.

The KLU-1 well was designed to drill deeper to test both oil and gas prospects but was not designed to efficiently do a production test. The new well is narrower in diameter and is designed for a lengthy gas production test, which is expected to take 35 days to 60 days, Webb said.

KLU-3 will be drilled to 10,000 feet, he said.

In 2012 Furie drilled another exploration well a few miles away as part of its development plan approved by the state.

Near Anchor Point, Buccaneer will be drilling to test the Cosmopolitan prospect, a known oil and gas discovery that has been tested over several years by Pioneer Natural Resources and in earlier years by ARCO Alaska Inc.

Pioneer sold the prospect to Buccaneer and BlueCrest Energy, another independent. Cosmopolitan has an oil deposit at the 6,000-foot to 8,000-foot level and a shallower gas deposit at 3,000 feet to 4,000 feet.

Previous exploration drilling at Cosmopolitan involved extended-reach directional wells drilled from a drill rig on shore, and the high angle of the wells and extensive layers of coal that were penetrated while drilling complicated production testing.

Having the jack-up rig on site will allow wells to be drilled vertically, allowing a more efficient test and evaluation program.

What enhances the potential viability of Cosmopolitan is that Enstar Natural Gas Co. now has a gas pipeline built to Anchor Point to transport gas from nearby onshore wells. That pipeline could easily be reached from offshore.


Tim Bradner can be reached at tim.bradner@alaskajournal.com.


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