Chad Helgeson, Hilcorp’s Kenai team operations manager, updated the Kenai Chapter of the Alaska Support Industry Alliance on his company’s activities last month. While the low price of oil has not put a halt to Cook Inlet activities, it hasn’t made success any easier.
“It hasn’t halted any of our work, it’s just making us roll up our sleeves even further, dig into the trenches and get dirtier so to speak as we continue to develop and find more reserves in order to continue the long-term supply and prosperity,” Helgeson told the luncheon meeting at the Kenai Visitor and Cultural Center. Hilcorp’s hard work has led to some successes.
“We’ve put together up to three drilling rigs and eight workover rigs running at one time, going in and fixing up a lot of the stuff that has been broken and neglected over the years,” Helgeson said. “Essentially that’s what our success has been; just getting in, fixing and taking the risk of not having 100-percent success with every project you execute. We’ve been willing to take a few lumps as we go, but we persevere and come out ahead on the outside of it.”
Hilcorp is a privately owned company known for operating within its means.
“We’re a well-managed company where we control the number of employees and operate within our cash flow. However, we don’t have any layoffs planned, we have no shortcomings in our operations because we’ve extended ourselves too far, we operate with the money that we make so everything we make we turn around and put back into the company here in Alaska or the lower 48,” Helgeson said.
It was only five years ago that energy experts were projecting natural gas shortages and potential imports of Liquefied Natural Gas to meet Alaska’s energy needs. Hilcorp’s hard work and success has turned around those projections.
“We did a lot of things when we purchased the Chevron and Marathon properties and combined the assets and contracts, which has allowed us to develop aggressively as one company with multiple projects. We’ve drilled many gas wells to continue that and it’s not easy, we’ve had challenges and have had wells that have not performed at levels we had hoped for, but we continue to learn as we go and commit our resources to finding gas. We are confident we can meet the demand for energy in Alaska. Our marketing team is looking for contracts six to eight years out, which means we are confident enough that we can develop and produce gas to meet the utility needs of Enstar Natural Gas Co. and Chugach Electric. I love my job and we have a great team,” said Helgeson.