Glennallen, Alaska – Tolsona Oil & Gas Exploration LLC, an Ahtna, Inc. subsidiary, has begun mobilization of the Tolsona No.1 gas exploration well rig. The drilling program is starting two weeks later than planned to await availability of the rig. The 2 million pound drill rig, required materials and rolling stock equipment is being transported from the Kenai in over 40 truckloads by Lynden Transport. It is scheduled to arrive at the Tolsona 4-acre drilling pad location, which is just north of Milepost 175 of the Glenn Highway and about 11.5 miles west of Glennallen, by September 15, 2016. Cruz Construction Inc. will be at the drill site early next week to set the cellar and conductor. Residents and visitors may see an increase in traffic and activity over the weekend and into early next week as the project is localized to the Tolsona pad and supported from the Ahtna 1-19 pad, about one mile down the road.
Ahtna Construction completed the road and pad work this spring, Ahtna Environmental Services is managing all contract opportunities, and Alaska-based contractors such as Petrotechnical Resources of Alaska (PRA) are providing drilling support services. One exploratory well will be drilled at depths between 4,000 and 5,000 feet during a 36-day drilling program searching for natural gas. Drilling will wrap up and demobilization of the rig will take place near the end of October with test well results expected early this winter.
“Ahtna is proud to serve as the owner operator of this program and spudding of our first well is an important milestone in our efforts to explore the natural gas potential in our region and help combat the rural energy crisis. It has taken years of preparation to get to where we are today and we are optimistic of a significant find,” says Ahtna President Michelle Anderson. “We continue to be focused on operating at the highest safety standards and helping to create local jobs for our shareholders,” she adds.
Ahtna is actively recruiting Ahtna shareholders to fill project support roles such as site safety, security and logistics. A Drilling Intern position will also provide a unique opportunity for one shareholder to be mentored in oil and gas drilling exploration leadership and project management. The intern will shadow project staff and be exposed to a large variety of jobs and activities performed in the oil and gas drilling process.