The Explorers 2017: Furie Planning Jurassic Well at KLU

10/05/2020 10:00 am EST

Focus: COMMODITIES

Shawn Bartholomae

CEO, ProAK, LLC

Sponsored content - Furie shot an extensive 3D shoot over the entire 83,000-acre Kitchen Lights Unit. The seismic was correlated with existing well logs to gain a comprehensive look at the subsurface geology. Upon analysis, there were many Direct Hydrocarbon Indicators (DHI), commonly referred to as bright spots. These bright spots were in various formations but seemed to concentrate around the Jurassic. Success rates and production rates typically increase when drilling into bright spots. Additionally, the Jurassic is commonly thought of as the source rock for the entire Cook Inlet. Wells were successfully drilled into the Jurassic over 30 years ago, but they were too deep to complete with the technology at the time. Using current technology, the Jurassic can easily be reached and completed and put into production. Recently, Shell put a Jurassic well online in the Gulf of Mexico at their Appomattox Platform doing 173,000 BOPD. Because of the combined information and research, Furie modified their drilling plans to test the Jurassic in several exploratory wells.

With the right resources and market conditions, Furie Operating Alaska LLC could become the most prolific exploration company in Cook Inlet over the next few years.

In a plan of operations submitted to the state in March 2016, the local independent announced a five-year plan to drill as many as 10 exploration wells at its offshore Kitchen Lights unit. But those plans remain flexible, as the company evaluates options.

In its 2017 plan of development for the unit, submitted to the state in late 2016, the company only mentioned a plan to potentially deepen an existing exploration well. And in March 2017, the company told Petroleum News it was planning to drill the Kitchen Lights Unit No. 6 exploration this year to a depth of 20,000 feet, into the Jurassic.

As the largest unit by area in the Cook Inlet region, Kitchen Lights will likely require a combination of widespread exploration activities and focused development activities. The 83,394-acre unit combines at least three previously distinct offshore prospects into a single administrative entity. Previous agreements with the state require Furie to spread its ongoing exploration activities over four blocks: North, Corsair, Central, and Southwest.

To date, Furie has drilled three exploration wells and a sidetrack in the Corsair block, one exploration well in the Northern block and one exploration well in the Central block.

Furie drilled KLU No. 1 in 2011 and 2012, KLU No. 2, and KLU No. 2-A in 2012 and KLU No. 3 in 2013. All three wells and the sidetrack were in the Corsair block. Over the end of the 2013 season and the beginning of the 2014 season, Furie drilled KLU No. 4 in the northern block. At the end 2014, the company drilled KLU No. 5 in the central block.

Following that initial run of exploration, Furie shifted its focus to development activities, which included bringing the unit into production and drilling two wells and a sidetrack.

Revised Program

As early as 2012, Furie was talking about drilling a KLU No. 6 well in the northern block. In late 2014, the company proposed drilling the well in the southwest block in early 2015. By late 2015, Furie had plans to drill the well in the southwest block in 2017, although final determination would depend on the results of a recent 3D seismic survey.

Instead, in its most recent plan of development from late 2016, Furie said it planned to focus primarily on development activities at the unit during 2017. But the company said it might swap one development well for an exploration project: deepening the existing KLU No. 4 well to penetrate the Sunfish Channel of the lower Tyonek formation.

In a plan of operations submitted to the state in early 2016, Furie proposed a much broader exploration program for Kitchen Lights in the years after the KLU No. 4 project.

The plan called for drilling KLU No. 9 and KLU No. 12 in the 2017 season, KLU Osprey and KLU Deep Jurassic in 2018, KLU No. 10, and KLU No. 11 wells in 2019, KLU No. 6 and KLU No. 8 in 2020 and KLU No. 7 in 2021. The program proposed beginning in the northern end of the unit and moving progressively southward over the five-year program.

The wells would also vary in depth. The KLU No. 9 and KLU No. 12 wells would be approximately 17,000 feet deep. The KLU Osprey well would be approximately 7,230 feet deep. The KLU Deep Jurassic well would be approximately 24,000 feet deep.

A decision from the state Division of Oil and Gas in late May 2016 allowed the company to proceed with the KLU No. 4 project in the Corsair block and the KLU No. 9 and KLU No. 12 wells immediately. As for the remaining seven wells in the program—Osprey, Deep Jurassic, No. 6, No. 7, No. 8, No. 10, and No. 11—the state required Furie to seek approval for each project on an annual basis from 2018 to 2021 by requesting a “letter of non-objection.” In its decision, the state wrote that it would “consider and evaluate drilling progress, operations, compliance, and other relevant information compared with the original plan when considering the issuance of a letter of non-objection.”

By early this year, Furie had revised its exploration plans for Kitchen Lights again. In March 2017, Furie told Petroleum News that it planned to drill a deep exploration well later this year into the Jurassic. The company planned to begin the proposed KLU No. 6 well after completing the KLU A-1 development well, which would fulfill a two-well requirement in a gas-supply agreement with Enstar Natural Gas Co. LLC starting in 2018.

The company would use the Randolf Yost rig to drill the well. The rig spent the winter in Nikiski, on the Kenai Peninsula, until it could be mobilized for the 2017 drilling season.

The proposed KLU No. 6 well would need to descend more than 20,000 feet to reach the Jurassic, where geologists have speculated there might be undiscovered resources. The company did not disclose the location or exploration block for the proposed well.

This is article 6 of 8 on the ProAK royalties in the Kitchen Lights Unit in the Cook Inlet of Alaska, as being offered through the Northern Lights Opportunity.

Read Part 1: Crude Discovery Gets New Life 27 Years Later

Read Part 2: The History of ProAK’s Cook Inlet Energy Fields

Read Part 3: Furie Seeks Permit for New Platform

Read Part 4: The Explorers 2016: Furie Planning Major Exploration Effort

Read Part 5: Furie Takes First Steps Toward Adding Inlet Oil Platform

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