Alaska Dispatch News | Author: Alex DeMarban
An Alaska Native corporation hoping to provide jobs and cheaper energy to its shareholders reported it has finished drilling a natural gas exploration well and will soon conduct tests to determine if gas exists in the targeted zone.
Ahtna said the two-month drilling at Tolsona No. 1, located about 12 miles west of the company's Glennallen headquarters in the Interior, was delayed by challenging geology and zones of high-pressure water. It had to be drilled 700 feet deeper than planned, but the company was able to isolate the potential gas-bearing zone from the water about a mile beneath the surface.
The drilling rig will be demobilized so it can be used again by Hilcorp, the dominate producer in the Cook Inlet region. Hilcorp allowed rig owner Schlumberger to extend the rig contract to finish drilling, Ahtna said in a statement.
Well-testing is expected to begin in mid-December, with a wireline truck lowering perforating guns down the well using a steel cable to blast holes in the pipe with explosive charges, officials said. The holes will connect the pipe to the reservoir thought to contain gas.
Image: Bill Roth / Alaska Dispatch News