OIL & GAS: The Private Collection: Alaska's 'smaller' oil and gas companies are making big moves.

Author:Anderson, Tasha

In the past much of Alaska's oil and gas industry was dominated by large, international corporations. While their presence has been vital in developing oil and gas operations and infrastructure around the state, over the decades smaller and often privately-owned companies have found opportunities throughout the state to pursue oil and gas industry exploration, production, and even refining. It's privately-owned Hilcorp that has agreed to acquire BP's Alaska assets for $5.6 billion, and hopes are high that the company that specializes in revitalizing fields in decline will have a bright, long future in Prudhoe Bay. But Hilcorp is far from the only privately-owned oil facility operator in the state.

Innovative Drilling

BlueCrest Energy is a privately held exploration and production company focused on oil and gas development in Alaska. The Texas-based entity was founded in 2011 and is the 100 percent owner of the Cosmopolitan Unit located three miles offshore in Cook Inlet. BlueCrest also owns the specially-built rig it uses for offshore drilling.

For the last few years, BlueCrest's development activities have been building toward implementing a highly efficient trident well design.

In the fourth quarter of 2018 at its Cosmopolitan Unit, BlueCrest drilled and completed the H16a fishbone well, which was the second well in its 2018 drilling program. H16a contained eight individually permitted wells, which yield the equivalent of an 800-foot spacing well program and are effective in maximizing production from a given area. H16a was brought into production in December 2018 and the company reports that to-date it provides approximately 29 percent of oil production and approximately 10 percent of the gas production at Cosmopolitan.

Using data from its H12 and H16a fishbone wells, BlueCrest drilled a step-out well in 2019 "to prove up the reserves on the southside of the structure," a part of the reservoir that has not previously been tested, according to the company. BlueCrest also successfully drilled the H4 fishbone well, which contains seven individually permitted wells. H4 was brought into production in March and provides approximately 26 percent of oil production and approximately 7 percent of gas production at the BlueCrest facility.

For 2020, BlueCrest has been enthusiastic about sharing information on its innovative trident well design, which is one main wellbore drilled from the surface to the reservoir edge, where it splits into three...

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