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Ryckman Seeking FERC OK to Convert Wells in Wyoming Natural Gas Storage Field

FERC has received a request from Ryckman Creek Resources LLC for blanket authorization to perform several activities at its natural gas storage field in Uinta County, WY.

In a notice Monday, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission said the Houston-based company has proposed converting two existing observation wells to vertical injection/withdrawal (I/W) wells, and to re-enter and re-complete four former oil production wells for use as vertical I/W wells  [CP17-459]. Ryckman has also proposed converting two former oil production wells for use as observation wells and to re-enter and re-complete a former oil production well for use as a saltwater disposal well.

The Ryckman Creek Storage Project has total certified capacity of about 53 Bcf, at a maximum shut-in bottomhole reservoir pressure of 4,000 psi absolute, with a working gas capacity of about 34 Bcf. The partially depleted oilfield has numerous abandoned production wells and is about 15 miles northeast of Evanston, WY.

According to documents filed with FERC, the abandoned wells were originally drilled and completed in the late 1970s and early 1980s. The wells were producing oil until 1995, when the operator shut them in. The wells were plugged and abandoned in early 2001. Ryckman had originally planned to re-enter and re-complete some of the wells for use as non-FERC jurisdictional enhanced oil recovery wells, but excessive water production issues changed the company's plans.

The project, estimated to cost $6.5 million, also includes constructing related connecting flowlines, access roads and appurtenances.

"Ryckman states that the proposed project will have no impact on the storage field's certificated physical parameters, including total inventory, reservoir pressures, reservoir and buffer boundaries, and certificated capacity," FERC said in its notice.

The Commission has 90 days to complete an environmental assessment (EA) of the project or issue a notice of schedule for environmental review. If regulators schedule an environmental review, they would be required to announce an anticipated date to issue a final environmental impact statement or an EA for the project.

In February 2016, Ryckman and parent company, Peregrine Midstream Partners LLC, filed for Chapter 11. A month later, the companies received bankruptcy court approval of a $35 million debtor-in-possession loan to keep their businesses running as they navigated through Chapter 11.

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