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Cook Inlet gas sought: Aurora begins drilling again

Posted: Tuesday, August 26, 2008

A Texas company has announced resumption of drilling and development activities in Cook Inlet after a two-year hiatus.

"We could not be more thrilled," said G. Scott Pfoff, president of Aurora Gas LLC, in a press release. "Aurora is going back to what this company was created to do, economically develop more natural gas and bring it onto the system in Cook Inlet."

The Houston-based company said it had based its decision on the resolution of litigation with Enstar Natural Gas Co. over contractual matters and more favorable market conditions in the inlet.

Aurora plans on completing the unsuccessful Aspen No. 1 exploration well as an injection well, tapping different pockets of gas at its Three Mile Creek No. 2 well (a process they called "recompletion") and drilling two new development wells, Moquawkie No. 4 and Lone Creek No. 4.

Pfoff said a rig already has been mobilized to the Aspen No. 1 site on the west side of Cook Inlet and would be used throughout the exploration program. According to the company, they should be able to add at least 10 million to 15 million cubic feet of gas per day into the inlet system just in time for the coming winter season.

"We are committing approximately $7.2 million in this renewed effort to find and develop more gas in Cook Inlet," Pfoff said.

Ed Jones, vice president of engineering and operations, said the new operations would primarily be developing known reserves. If all goes as planned, they will double their current rate of production, he said. Today, the company operates 12 wells in the Cook Inlet area.

Jones said the effort likely would add positions to the peninsula's overall employment picture, either directly with Aurora or through the services they'll require.

Aurora has been operating in the inlet since November 2000.

Hal Spence can be reached at hspence@ptialaska.net.



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