Forcenergy to drill Tomcat prospect

Posted: Monday, September 25, 2000

The new platform on Forcen-ergy Inc.'s Redoubt Shoal prospect is not the only facet of its $55 million Cook Inlet capital budget.

Gary Carlson, vice president for Alaska operations, said that by year's end, Forcenergy will have spent roughly $11 million to drill two new onshore wells in western Cook Inlet. It also will have contributed about half the $26 million cost of joint development projects with Unocal in the Trading Bay Unit and McArthur River Field.

In the western inlet, Forcenergy just finished the first of the two new onshore wells. John Amundsen, health, environment and safety manager, said that should boost production at Forcenergy's West McArthur oil field from the present 1,900 barrels per day to about 3,000 barrels per day.

As soon as the rig can be moved, Forcenergy will drill a new well at its Tomcat prospect about 1.5 miles inland from the tip of West Foreland.

"That's a rank wildcat," Carlson said. "If we're successful at finding the same zone there as at West McArthur and Redoubt, it ought to be a good producer. It could be a couple thousand barrels per day."

Workers built a road to reach Tomcat this summer. Amundsen said the new well should be done in early November. If Forcenergy strikes oil, it will delineate the field with three-dimensional seismic tests, he said.

Forcenergy, which emerged early this year from Chapter 11 bankruptcy proceedings, has agreed to merge with Denver-based Forest Oil Corp. Carlson said managers hope to close the deal by Nov. 1.

Forcenergy will take the Forest Oil name, but its Alaska operations will remain a separate business unit, just as they were under Forcenergy, Carlson said. He expects no major changes to Alaska operations.

"The company will double in size, so overall, our capital budget will be higher. The money we spend in Alaska depends on our business opportunities. Our budget will be the same," he said.

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