Fifty three drilling permits were issued, 36 wells were drilled, and two wells were plugged as of December 1, 2012. Drilling for potash continues so the total number of wells drilled will be higher than the 36 wells reported in this article. 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. All but three permits and two wells drilled were stratigraphic tests for potash east of Holbrook. Triomphe Energy out of St George, Utah, drilled an oil exploration well, the 1 Triomphe Fee, to a total depth of 4521 ft about 15 miles north of Holbrook. Triomphe continues to evaluate the results. Kinder Morgan drilled two wells, the 11-3-30 Fee and 11-25-30 Fee, to total depths of 2600 ft and 3027 ft, respectively, for carbon dioxide at the St. Johns Gas Unit. Kinder Morgan is evaluating the results of these two wells.
Elm Ridge Exploration plugged the 1 Navajo well at the East Boundary Butte field in northeastern Arizona. Humble Oil & Refining Company completed the 1 Navajo in November 1955 as an oil well. It produced 147,883 barrels of oil and 2.1 billion cubic ft of natural gas before it was plugged in May 2012. Elm Ridge also plugged the 3 Navajo well at the East Boundary Butte field. Humble Oil & Refining Company completed the 3 Navajo in November 1969 as an oil well. It produced 59,474 barrels of oil, 620,892 barrels of water and 370 million cubic ft of natural gas before Merrion Oil & Gas Corporation converted it to a produced-water disposal well in June 1982. A total of 785,145 barrels of produced water was pumped back into the East Boundary butte field before it was plugged in May 2012.
Depth of potash is shallower than depth to CO2 and oil in Arizona
Southwest Exploration/Passport Potash drilled 22 wells at its potash project west of Petrified Forest National Park near Holbrook. Passport’s drilling program will continue through the end of the year. American West Potash drilled 11 wells at it potash project east of Petrified Forest National Park. American West finished a drilling program in the first half of 2012 and is currently drilling additional wells based on the results from the earlier wells. The wells drilled for potash are shallower than the wells drilled for CO2 or oil. For example, sixty wells with a total footage of 77,946 ft were drilled for potash in 2011, an average depth of about 1300 ft per well. Thirty three potash wells with a total footage of 42,396 have been drilled so far in 2012, an average depth of about 1285 ft per well. Total footage for the two wells drilled for CO2 in 2012 is 5627 ft, an average of about 2814 per well. The single well drilled for oil in 2012, the 1 Triomphe, was drilled to a total depth of 4521 ft.