CIRI Joins Doyon in Drilling Project

The Toghotthele drill site, a 2016 partnership between Doyon and CIRI. Photo by J. Irwin.

Targeting a promising oil and gas prospect, CIRI will join fellow Alaska Native regional corporation Doyon, Limited (Doyon) in drilling the Totchaket #1 well this summer. The oil and gas exploration well will be located in the Nenana basin west of Fairbanks, Alaska. Its location is based on data acquired from a 64-square-mile 3D seismic program conducted in 2017.

Prior exploratory drilling in the Nenana basin by Doyon – including a 2016 exploration well in which CIRI participated – has demonstrated the presence of an active hydrocarbon system that produces both natural gas and oil, although no commercial quantities have yet been found.

“The presence of direct hydrocarbon indicators in the 2017 seismic data represents a significant and new step toward the confirmation of a commercially viable oil or gas discovery by the Totchaket #1 well,” said Ethan Schutt, CIRI senior vice president, Land and Energy Development. “We see seismic data anomalies at multiple horizons spanning thousands of feet of sedimentary section that will be intersected by the Totchaket #1 well path.”

From a location approximately 20 miles north of the city of Nenana on the east side of the Tanana River, the Totchaket #1 well will be drilled to a depth of approximately 12,500 feet. Previous wells have been drilled west of the Tanana River and farther south. In a discovery scenario, the Totchaket #1 well and pad will be on the same side of the Tanana River as the Alaska Railroad, the Parks Highway and other public infrastructure, expediting development and reducing its cost.

“CIRI values its continued partnership with Doyon,” said CIRI President and CEO Sophie Minich. “We believe our continued investment at Nenana offers the potential for a basin-opening oil and gas discovery in Alaska.”