By Alan Bailey
Furie Operating Alaska has obtained a permit to drill a fifth well in the Kitchen Lights unit, in the northern part of the Cook Inlet.
In the latter part of the 2013 drilling season the company used its Spartan 151 jack-up drilling rig to start the drilling of the Kitchen Lights unit no. 4 well. Furie’s President Damon Kade has told Petroleum News that his company’s plans for the drilling of both the no. 4 and the no. 5 wells are confidential. However, both wells are clearly exploration wells and, given the timing of the permit application for the no. 5 well, Furie would appear to be planning to at least start the drilling of that well during the current drilling season.
The Kitchen Lights unit is divided into four exploration blocks. In the southern part of the unit, immediately north of the East Foreland region of the Kenai Peninsula, lie the southwest and central blocks. In the middle lies the Corsair block, with the fourth block, the northern block, in the unit’s northeastern sector.
Furie is currently engaged in the development of a gas field, based around the Kitchen Lights unit no. 3 well in the Corsair block. The development involves the installation of a new offshore gas production platform, laying of gas-gathering pipelines from the platform to shore, and the construction of an onshore facility. The platform has been fabricated and is currently being shipped from Texas to the Cook Inlet. The Kitchen Lights no. 1 and no. 2 wells are also located in the Corsair block.
The Kitchen Lights no. 4 well is located in the Northern block. And, based on location information included with the new drilling permit, the no. 5 well location would appear to be towards the western side of the central block, about halfway down the block.
The sequence of drilling appears consistent with requirements in Furie’s Kitchen Lights exploration plan, stating that the company must drill wells in several exploration blocks within the Kitchen Lights unit.
The locations of the exploration blocks, and the exploration prospects that each block encapsulates, relate to the subsurface geologic structures that characterize the Cook Inlet basin. Essentially, the strata that typically host the Cook Inlet oil and gas fields have been deformed into a series of north-north-east trending folds, with hydrocarbon resources tending to become trapped in the crests of the folds. Each fold forms an elongated dome-like structure, generally bounded by geologic faults. The folds form sets, with the folds within a set lined up end-to-end along a north-north-east trend line.
The Corsair block, in which Furie is developing its new gas field, contains a structure on a fold trend that lines up with the North Cook Inlet gas field to the north and the Kenai and Cannery Loop gas fields to the south. Shell, Phillips and ARCO, between them, drilled five wells in the prospect between 1962 and 1993. The wells all had gas show, with some also testing small quantities of oil.
None of the other prospects within the Northern Lights unit have seen previous drilling.
The northern block corresponds to what used to be called the Northern Lights prospect and lies on the same structural trend as the Corsair block. The Northern Lights prospect has in the past been viewed as an oil opportunity related to a known oil pool under the North Cook Inlet field.
The central block corresponds approximately to what used to be called the East Kitchen Lights prospect, a prospect lying on that same structural trend as Corsair and the northern block.
The southwestern block corresponds to what was called the Kitchen prospect, a structure on the east side of the fold structure that holds the Middle Ground Shoal oil field.
- A copyrighted oil and gas lease map from Mapmakers Alaska was a research tool used in preparing this story.
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