Hilcorp plans new pad and well near Ninilchik

Oil and gas company Hilcorp Alaska plans to lay a new gravel pad and drill a new well just north of Ninilchik this summer.

The new pad, to be called “Pearl,” will sit near Sterling Highway mile 132.2 and become the southernmost of a string of Hilcorp drill pads on the Cook Inlet coast north of Ninilchik — the Susan Dionne Pad at Sterling Highway mile 128.8, the Kalotsa Pad at Mile 129.8 and the Paxton pad at Mile 131.2.

The Pearl pad will be used to drill a delineation well — one meant to determine the extent and volume of an underground reservoir — in search of gas near the southern edge of the Ninilchik anticline, an offshore sandstone formation that stretches parallel to the Cook Inlet coast for about 16 miles from Clam Gulch to just north of Ninilchik, covered by the state’s Ninilchik oil and gas leasing unit. The new Pearl well will be “targeting gas resources south of the existing Susan Dionne-Paxton Participating Area,” which is inside the Hilcorp-leased Ninilchik Unit, according to the company’s application to the Alaska Department of Natural Resources’ Division of Oil and Gas. A participating area is one proven to sit above recoverable hydrocarbon reservoirs.

The Division of Oil and Gas announced that it had received Hilcorp’s application for the new pad on June 16. A comment period on the application is open until July 17.

The new 3.77-acre pad will be laid on land that Hilcorp purchased in May, according to Kenai Peninsula Borough Assessing Department records, from Heavenly Sights Holding, LLC. Before building the new pad, Hilcorp will have to do some construction work to make the area accessible. The nearest existing access is the Woodsong Court right-of-way, which branches from the Sterling Highway near Mile 132.

Hilcorp plans to widen this entrance to build a 20-foot wide access road to the Pearl site. According to Hilcorp’s application, the Alaska Department of Transportation and Public Facilities will be doing the widening this summer alongside other work planned for the area. Hilcorp plans to complete an access road and lay the pad by September, drill the new well in October and to complete it by October 2018.

Reach Ben Boettger at ben.boettger@peninsulaclarion.com.

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