Production testing begins at East Lost Hills gas project

Operator Berkley Petroleum Corp., Calgary, has begun production tests of the East Lost Hills No. 1 well targeting deep gas in Southern California's San Joaquin basin. In early tests of a test program that will continue for several weeks, calculated gas flow rates increased to 12 MMcfd from 4 MMcfd during "highly restricted" initial cleanup flow, says Berkley. Flowing wellhead pressure was maintained above 11,500 psi throughout the cleaup period.

During a weekend test of the well, gas flowed at more than 12 MMcfd, while condensate production was more than 1,000 b/d. Berkley believes the well is capable of producing over 300 MMcfd of gas. It has not been stimulated.

The well was shut in Monday to prepare for production flow testing. Downhole pressure recorders will be run, and an extended, multipoint production test is scheduled to begin May 31.

Drilling of the East Lost Hills exploration project began in May 1998, when the Bellevue 1-17 well was spudded. By November of that year, the well had been drilled to 17,400 ft�only 17 ft into the target Temblor structure�when it blew out and ignited (OGJ, Nov. 30, 1998, p. 34). A relief well was drilled, killing the flow in May 1999.

Well ELH-1 wad drilled about 2 miles northwest of Bellevue 1-17 to a depth of 19,724 ft. Testing will continue for several weeks.

Berkley began drilling ELH-3 over the weekend, about 1 mile southwest of Bellevue 1-17. ELH-2 is scheduled for spudding in June. The East Lost Hills consortium includes PYR Energy Corp. and Ivanhoe Energy Inc.

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