Seventy five drilling permits were issued, 67 wells were drilled, and one well was plugged through mid-December. All but two permits and all wells drilled were stratigraphic tests for potash. Two permits were for obligation wells at the St Johns Gas Unit. The plugged well was a stratigraphic test drilled in the Picacho Basin by El Paso Natural Gas in 2006.
The AZGS is evaluating several geologic formations in northeastern Arizona as part of the Rocky Mountain Carbon Capture and Sequestration (RMCCS) team. The primary focus of the RMCCS team is to characterize rock formations in and around the town of Craig, Colorado for their potential as future carbon dioxide storage options. See the RMCCS website at http://rmccs.org/ for more information.
GreenFire Energy is investigating CO2-based geothermal energy technology near Springerville in east-central Arizona. Greenfire plans to use geothermally heated carbon dioxide to produce electric power. See GreenFire Energy’s website at http://greenfireenergy.com/ for more information.
Southwest Exploration/Passport Potash drilled 31 wells through mid-December at its potash project west, southwest, and east of Petrified Forest National Park near Holbrook. Passport released a NI 43-101 technical report on the exploration potential of its land holdings in early November. HNZ Potash drilled 24 stratigraphic wells southwest and east of Petrified Forest National Park. HNZ has completed its drilling program in October and is preparing a NI 43-101 with the data. American West Potash drilled 12 wells at it potash project east of Petrified Forest National Park. American West completed its drilling program in September and released a NI 43-101 technical report in October. A permit is required from the Oil and Gas Conservation Commission for the potash stratigraphic wells because the holes penetrate the Coconino sandstone, a potential helium reservoir in the area of the Petrified Forest National Park.
Oil and Gas Leases 2011
There were 783,100 acres leased for oil and gas in Arizona on June 30, 2011; up from 710,000 acres leased on January 1, 2011 but down from the 930,000 acres leased on June 30, 2010.
Oil and Gas Production
Oil production totaled 40,137 barrels from 14 producing wells in 2010, down from 46,193 barrels from 16 wells in 2009. Gas production totaled 183 million cubic feet from 5 producing gas wells, down from 712 million cubic feet from 6 wells in 2009. No CO2 was produced in 2010. There was one active disposal well and 20 shut-in wells at yearend including 16 oil, 2 gas, 1 CO2, and 2 disposal wells.
Oil and Gas Conservation Commission
The Oil and Gas Conservation Commission held three regular meetings through October 2011. Current commission members include J. Dale Nations, Tucson, Chairman; Stephen R. Cooper, Casa Grande; Frank Thorwald, Show Low; Robert L. Wagner, Mesa; and Maria Baier, ex-officio member and State Land Commissioner. Links to rules and statutes and other information about oil and gas in Arizona including online well data and logs may be found at the Commission’s web page at www.azogcc.az.gov.
Steven L. Rauzi, 12/09/11