FIRM HOPES TO DRILL WELLS USING NEW TECHNOLOGY

FIRM HOPES TO DRILL WELLS USING NEW TECHNOLOGY

A Nevada company that plans to use three-dimensional seismic technology is seeking drilling permits for a new well in Park County, in the northwestern part of the state.

Sierra Energy of Reno plans to use horizontal drilling as part of a project funded by the U.S. Department of Energy. The company hopes to start work within the next 45 days on the well in the Badger Basin, Jerry Walker, Sierra's chief geologist, said.The company had planned to start drilling earlier this month, Mr. Walker said. The starting date might depend upon the availability of rigs.

Last May, Sierra finished vibration seismic testing as part of the $2.3 million project, with the company and the Department of Energy equally sharing the costs. The project was one of five selected nationwide last year as oil recovery demonstration projects.

Mr. Walker said the three- dimensional data showed more clearly the details of the underground structure, including the folds and faults.

The company targeted the Frontier Formation, looking for vertical fracture zones thought to contain oil. Previous wells in Badger Basin have included high-producing wells as well as lower producers.

Sierra officials hope that horizontal drilling will be more likely than vertical drilling to intersect vertical fractures.