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Hilcorp plans Pearl Pad expansion

Plans for Hilcorp's Pearl Pad expansion.
Courtesy Photo
Hilcorp Alaska
Plans for Hilcorp's Pearl Pad expansion.

Oil and gas company Hilcorp is expanding one of its drilling pads on the southern Kenai Peninsula.

The Department of Natural Resources approved Hilcorp’s application to expand the Pearl Pad in Ninilchik on March 3. The expansion will include two gas development wells and one combination gas development and oil exploration well, according to the application. The pad is located on private surface and subsurface land, and the expansion will add about two acres.

DNR says it’s enforcing certain mitigation measures on the project because of the pad’s proximity to Cook Inlet, but granted an exception that will allow the company to drill wells within half a mile of the inlet. The application says the company plans to use multiple barriers of protection while drilling to preserve important fisheries in the inlet that the mitigation measures are designed to protect. The wells will be located within 300 feet of the water.

While 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 company is also in the process of expanding the nearby Paxton Pad, and applied to add new wells at that site earlier this year.

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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