This paper was prepared for the 96th Annual AIME Meeting to be held in Los Angeles, Calif., Feb. 19 through 23, 1967. Permission to copy is restricted to an abstract of not more than 300 words. Illustrations may not be copied. The abstract should contain conspicuous acknowledgment of where and by whom the paper is presented. Publication elsewhere after publication in the JOURNAL OF PETROLEUM TECHNOLOGY or the SOCIETY OF PETROLEUM ENGINEERS JOURNAL is usually granted upon requested to the Editor of the appropriate journal, provided agreement to give proper credit is made.
Discussion of this paper is invited. Three copies of any discussion should be sent to the Society of Petroleum Engineers Office. Such discussions may be presented at the above meeting and, with the paper, may be considered for publication in one of the two SPE magazines.
Offshore operations in the hostile environment of Cook Inlet, Alaska, began in 1959 with the joint seismic surveys of some 11 companies in the waters of the upper Cook Inlet. In 1962 several companies drilled exploratory wells on leases purchased in 1961. The first all-weather, all-year drilling and production platform was installed in the Inlet in the fall of 1964. Presently there are six platforms operationally complete, one partially completed, and four planned for installation in 1967, for a total of 10 drilling and production structures in the Inlet by the end of 1967. The first crude oil flowlines were installed in 1965 and many more additional lines were added in 1966, with plans to re and expand the flowline network in 1967.
The problem associated with Cook Inlet which set it apart from other offshore areas are related to the remoteness of the area from support facilities and the hostile environment, specifically the 30-foot tidal range and accompanying swift currents, and the range of temperatures which cause the Inlet to ice over in the winter months.
Nevertheless, progress is being made in developing the mineral resources underlying the Inlet and solutions are being found for the many special problems which should eventually enable the efficient drilling and production of the hydrocarbon resources hidden under the icy waters of the Inlet.
In 1959 some 11 oil companies shared the cost of obtaining basic seismic data in the upper Cook Inlet, thus beginning one of the most challenging drilling and production programs in the history of our far-ranging search for reserves of energy to provide the ever-increasing demands for fuel needed in our modern society.