Aurora finds gas across Cook Inlet

Posted: Friday, August 27, 2004

Aurora Gas LLC has announced a successful drilling and testing operation at its Kaloa No. 2 Well on the west side of Cook Inlet, finding natural gas that could produce an estimated 10 million cubic feet per day.

"This well is a re-drill of the Kaloa No. 1, a well drilled by Pan American in 1967 looking for oil," said company President G. Scoot Pfoff. "That well tested gas and was put on production briefly. However, the operator shut in almost immediately as a result of sand-up (sand clogging the bore) problems."

Pfoff said modern methods can control sand production, and the high demand for natural gas in the Cook Inlet area makes development of smaller fields "an economically attractive endeavor for Aurora."

In a press release, Aurora said that once production facilities and a short pipeline are installed later this year, Kaloa would become the fourth producing gas filed of for Aurora Gas in Cook Inlet, joining Nicolai Creek, Lone Creek and Moquawkie. The gas will be marketed to Enstar Natural Gas Company under an existing contract. Gas volumes above the commitment to ENSTAR will be sold to other Southcentral Alaska customers, the company said.

Aurora also announced it has commenced production from the Moquawkie Field at a flow rate of 5 million cubic feet per day without compression. The company accessed the idle field last year by re-entering the Mobil Moquawkie Well No. 1. The company has been installing production facilities there, as well as constructing a 4.4-mile pipeline and an interconnection with the Beluga Pipe Line owned and operated by Marathon.

"We are extremely pleased with our progress on the west side," said J. Edward Jones, Aurora's executive vice president in charge of engineering and operations. "Our first few wells have had to justify and carry the economic burden of facilities, gathering lines and interconnections. Future wells will be much easier and less expensive to add to the system."

Aurora currently is in the process of mobilizing the Aurora Well Service Rig No. 1 to an exploratory re-entry of the Texaco Long Lake No. 1 Well on the inlet's west side.

Pfoff said Tuesday that the company is encouraged by its success so far, but is looking for a bigger payoff in time.

"In the business, we talk about hitting home runs," he said. "We've hit a few singles and doubles, but we've set ourselves up to hit a couple of home runs in the near future."

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