Marathon Oil Company
announced a significant natural gas discovery on its Ninilchik Prospect
on the Kenai Peninsula, approximately 35 miles south of Kenai, Alaska.
Marathon currently estimates 90 billion cubic feet (bcf) of gross proven
recoverable gas reserves on the structure. Marathon is operator with a
60 percent working interest, while Unocal Alaska holds the remaining
The discovery well, Grassim Oskolkoff #1, was drilled to a depth of
11,600 feet and encountered several gas-bearing sands. The test of one
39-foot interval at 9,822 feet flowed gas at 11.2 million cubic feet per day
with a flowing tubing pressure of 1,565 psia. Three additional wells are
completed on the structure and await testing. Additional drilling is planned
to delineate the structure's upside potential.
"The Ninilchik discovery, together with our recent Wolf Lake production
coming on-line, demonstrates Marathon's continuing commitment to the Cook
Inlet natural gas market," said John Barnes, Manager of Marathon's Alaska
Business Unit. "In the last five years, Marathon has drilled six successful
gas exploration wells in the Cook Inlet, and we remain committed to continued
investment to establish the full potential of this gas-prone region."
Marathon expects further field development in anticipation of first gas
sales in late 2003. A new gas transmission line, the Kenai Kachemak Pipeline
(KKPL), plans to deliver the natural gas to existing Cook Inlet infrastructure
for local market consumption throughout the South Central Alaska region,
including the city of Anchorage. Design and permitting for KKPL, a venture
between Marathon and Unocal Alaska, is currently in progress.
Marathon's Alaskan operations are based in Anchorage. Marathon is one of
the largest gas producers in the Cook Inlet with more than 40 years of
exploration and production activities. Marathon currently supplies more than
60 percent of the natural gas consumed by South Central Alaska utility