The National Methane Hydrates R&D Program
The Alaska North Slope Stratigraphic Test Well - Science Plan
The “Mt. Elbert prospect” will be drilled as a vertical stratigraphic test using the Doyon 14 rig. The well is being drilled beneath an exploration ice pad within an area of the Milne Point Unit not penetrated by another well, to determine the validity of pre-drill seismically-based predictions of gas hydrate occurrence and reservoir quality and to collect other data needed to support a decision on whether or not to conduct future dedicated gas hydrate reservoir production testing on the Alaska North Slope. When completed, the well will be either plugged and abandoned or suspended, with or without instrumentation for future use as an observation well.
The Mt Elbert prospect is a well-developed seismic anomaly interpreted to contain two to three 25 to 75 foot-thick gas hydrate-bearing reservoir sands trapped within a well-constrained faultbounded 3-way closure as interpreted from the Milne 3D seismic data. Coring of the hydrate-bearing interval is expected to take place between depths of 2000 and 2600 feet TVD. The base operational plan will be to obtain 3-inch wireline-retrievable core while drilling a 7 7/8 inch hole.
Key scientific data gathering efforts will take place during whole coring, logging-while-drilling, geophysical well logging and downhole testing utilizing Schlumberger’s Modular Formation Dynamics Tester (MDT). The MDT operation is planned to include long-term (5 to 10+ hours per station at 3 stations) open-hole (or contingency cased hole) wireline testing. The MDT data are anticipated to help assess the gas hydrate-bearing reservoir porosity, permeability, and relative permeability, and to help understand the gas hydrate-bearing in-situ reservoir irreducible water, mobile water, and gas hydrate saturations.
Mud logging (Sperry-Sun)
Mud Engineering (M-I SWACO)
Mud chilling (DrillCool)
Wellsite geology/operations (BPXA)
Full coring operations
Drilling core acquisition (Corion)
Wireline core retrieval (Corion)
Core handling, processing, transport (Omni Laboratories Inc.)
Core handling, core water chemistry/thermoconductivity (DOE/NETL)
Core sampling, water analysis, geochemistry/microbiology (Oregon State Univ.)
Core sampling, physical properties, geochemistry/microbiology, water chemistry (USGS)
Wellsite coring science management (USGS, ASRC Energy Service, DOE/NETL)
Wireline well logging operations
Wireline logging (Schlumberger)
MDT equipment (Schlumberger)
MDT operations (APA Engineering)
The final Science Plan, which will incorporate operational sequences and specialized procedures, will be added to this site as operations begin.