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Hilcorp to drill three new Ninilchik gas wells

A map showing Hilcorp's new planned wells, Paxton 12, Pearl 10 and Pearl 11.
Courtesy Photo
Hilcorp Alaska
A map showing Hilcorp's new planned wells, Paxton 12, Pearl 10 and Pearl 11.

Oil and gas producer Hilcorp applied earlier this month to drill three new natural gas production wells in Ninilchik, citing the discovery of new gas reserves.

The announcement comes as the state forecasts a waning supply of available Cook Inlet natural gas. Hilcorp told local utilities last spring that it couldn’t guarantee gas supply beyond existing contracts.

Even though Hilcorp isn’t pursuing major new gas projects in Cook Inlet, it’s still producing from existing pads on the southern Kenai Peninsula, which are already connected to infrastructure to extract and deliver supply.

The wells Hilcorp plans to drill are on two existing pads in the Ninilchik unit, the Pearl pad and the Paxton pad. Production within that unit has increased more than 50% in the last year, according to Petroleum News.

It’s not uncommon for companies to drill new wells to access existing supply, since wells decline in productivity every few years. Cook Inlet gas fields are also heavily faulted, which means producers need to drill lots of wells to access all the pockets of gas in an area.

Hilcorp’s application says it plans to drill the wells this spring. It does not say how much gas it expects to produce from these new wells.

Riley Board is a Report For America participant and senior reporter at KDLL covering rural communities on the central Kenai Peninsula.
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