But based on the success of an exploration well, B1-38, and a sidetrack well, B1-18A, Greg Vigil, executive vice president of Savant Alaska, said the company is optimistic.
A subsidiary of independent Denver-based Savant Resources, Savant Alaska
and BP have been working together to restart the Badami
plant to resume some production and conduct flow testing.
"We're well on the way to beginning production in September," Vigil
The three companies announced a cooperative agreement in July 2008 to drill additional wells to bring Badami back to production, and possibly expand the field.
The plan, they announced then, included several wells, including the two wells drilled to date.
has a 90 percent working interest in the wells and ASRC Exploration owns the other 10 percent.
said the venture's first exploratory well - B1-38, or Red Wolf - found enough oil to be completed for production.
And the B1-18 sidetrack well looks very promising based on initial flow-backs, he
By drilling through the sands horizontally, Vigil
said, each well could connect more of Badami's discontinuous sands.
"We wanted to apply different technology to Badami's
is optimistic horizontal drilling techniques will finally unlock Badami's stubborn sands.
"We're excited to exploit a known accumulation with new technology," he
said, Savant plans to drill more sidetrack wells and new wells.
Sidetrack wells use a vertical section of an old well, cut out a section of the pipe casing and continue drilling horizontally.
And the vertical pipe in the original well is sealed below the new horizontal shaft, he
"Horizontal technology allows us to drill many more wells in the field," Vigil
"We're really excited about the opportunity in front of us at Badami
Independents Partner in North Slope Market
came to Alaska in 2006 after acquiring leases in a North Slope sale.
But it's far from the usual North Slope player.
It's small - five to 10 North Slope employees at any time, Vigil
That's smaller than the kitchen staff at one of the giant camps Conoco-Phillips and BP operate on the North Slope.
By comparison, Conoco-Phillips
has about 1,200 employees working there.
"You're seeing more and more independents active on the North Slope," Vigil
In Savant's case, it liked both Badami's potential reserves and its existing infrastructure.
"The fact that there was already infrastructure in place was a huge competitive advantage for us," Vigil
Tax credits also played a role in Savant's decision to invest in Alaska, Vigil
"That was a big incentive for us to spend additional risk capital in the state," Vigil
But in accordance with Savant's agreement with BP, Vigil
said, the Badami
plant was scheduled to resume operations in September to produce four pre-existing and two new wells.
said the company used Doyon Drilling company rig No. 15 to finish the Red Wolf exploration well and the B1-18 sidetrack well.
said initial results from the wells are promising.
The Red Wolf well also is significant because it was drilled deeper and accesses a different geological formation than previous wells, Vigil