As ASRC Exploration LLC (AEX) pursues its plan to drill a winter appraisal well on the Placer Unit just south of the Colville River Delta (Placer No. 3), employees from various ASRC Energy Services, LLC (AES) subsidiaries are working with the drilling engineering team to support the effort. AEX recently requested and received a land use permit for upcoming one-well exploration program at Placer No. 3. Lead by AEX’s President, Teresa Imm, this is the first year the company will act as the operator on its own lease. The permit covers one exploration well, an associated ice road, pad infrastructure, and off-road thermistors which will be installed before ice construction.
AEX plans to use the Kuukpik No. 5 drilling rig this winter to drill the Placer No. 3 well. The location of the well is between the Kuparuk River and Colville River units, approximately 15½ miles northeast of Nuiqsut. The well would delineate a reservoir previously encountered in 2004 by a group of companies with the Placer No. 1 and No. 2 wells. Upon approval of its Plan of Operations, AEX will conduct a 30-day flow test, separate fluids on site, truck oil and water to existing North Slope facilities and flare natural gas if the well is successful.
AES’ Regulatory and Technical Services (RTS) business unit is supporting the Placer effort through environmental and regulatory permitting, GIS support, cultural resource clearance, stakeholder engagement, field environmental compliance, and subsistence advisor support. In addition to RTS, AES E & P Technology (EPT) is providing contingent labor support, and AES Response Operations (ARO) is providing on site spill technicians and response equipment.
The RTS group recently conducted staff training for participation in the AEX Placer spill response exercise at Witt-O’Brien’s Incident Command System (ICS) training facility on October 27 and 28. The ICS assessment was undertaken as an addition to AEX’s Oil Discharge Prevention and Contingency Plan (C-Plan), and was held to demonstrate the efficiency in which AEX could organize, plan, and execute an emergency response plan for the day of, and the day after, an incident. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation (ADEC), and the North Slope Borough attended the spill response exercise to observe the AEX team.
The ASRC and AES employees who participated in the drill included Marty Lemon (AEX) as the Incident Commander, Peter Stokes (AEX) as Deputy Incident Commander, Ty Hardt (ASRC) as the Public Information Official, Robin Demoski (RTS) as the Liaison Officer, Joe LoSciuto (AMS / ARO) as the Operations Chief, James Bond (AMS / ARO) as the Logistics Chief Justin Shields (AEX) as the Assistant Planning Chief, and Brenda Maxwell (ASRC) as the Finance/Administration Section Lead. ASRC and AES staff showed a great deal of adaptability by filling roles within the ICS which normally have an emergency response based focus. The ICS assessment drill was successfully completed.