Arizona Energy

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Summary of oil and gas activity in Arizona – January to June 2013

Article Author(s): 

Steven Rauzi

Drilling Permits

Eleven drilling permits were issued and nine wells were drilled through June 30, 2013. Passport Potash and HNZ Potash drilled seven stratigraphic wells for potash east of Holbrook. Kinder Morgan drilled two wells for carbon dioxide in the St. Johns Gas Unit.

Carbon​ dioxide (CO2)

A rig on one of the CO2 wells during a testing program in 2003.

Kinder Morgan continues to flow test existing wells in the St Johns Gas Unit. Kinder Morgan drilled two new wells in the first half of 2013 and plans to drill more wells in the second half. Kinder Morgan hopes to develop the field as a major supplier of CO2 for enhanced recovery and expects it could drill up to 250 wells, build a pipeline and ultimately deliver 450 to 500 million cubic ft of gas a day to the Permian Basin by 2016. Ridgeway Arizona Oil Corporation drilled the discovery well for the CO2 field in August 1994. The accompanying photograph shows a rig on one of the CO2 wells during a testing program in 2003.

CO2 Sequestration

The AZGS is evaluating several geologic formations in northeastern Arizona as part of the Rocky Mountain Carbon Capture and Sequestration (RMCCS) team and the West Coast Regional Carbon Partnership (Westcarb). The primary focus of the RMCCS team was to drill a stratigraphic well to characterize rock formations in and around the town of Craig, Colorado, for their potential as future carbon dioxide sequestration options. The daily drilling progress and activity of the RMCCS State #1 well is available at

Geothermal Resources

GreenFire Energy is investigating CO2-based geothermal energy technology near Springerville in east-central Arizona. Greenfire plans to use geothermally heated carbon dioxide to produce electric power. See GreenFire Energy’s website at for more information.

Potash Exploration

Passport Potash drilled six wells at its potash project west of Petrified Forest National Park near Holbrook. Passport plans to continue its drilling program into the second half of 2013. HNZ Potash drilled the Mine Shaft Core Well #1 at its potash project southwest of Petrified Forest National Park. HNZ cored through the rocks overlying the salt to obtain information relative to eventual construction of a mining shaft. 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. The Little Colorado River Plateau Resource Conservation and Development Area, Inc. developed a potash information website to provide information about potash mining and the Holbrook Basin. See the new website at

Oil and Gas Leases first half 2013

There were 555,000 acres leased for oil and gas in Arizona as of June 30, 2013, up from the 504,000 acres at yearend 2012. Oil and gas leases on State Trust land totaled 515,000 acres as of June 30, up from 477,000 acres in December 2012. Federal land leased as of June 30 totaled 40,000 acres, up from 27,000 acres in December 2012.

Oil and Gas Production

Oil production totaled 26,552 barrels from 25 producing wells through May 2013, up from 17,042 barrels from 10 wells through May 2012. Gas production totaled 6 million cubic feet from 4 producing gas wells through May 2013, down from 72 million cubic feet from 5 wells through May 2012. No CO2 was produced in 2012 or the first half of 2013. There were two active disposal wells and 4 shut-in wells as of May 2013.

Oil and Gas Conservation Commission

The Oil and Gas Conservation Commission held two regular meetings in the first half of 2013. Current commission members include J. Dale Nations, Tucson, Chairman; Stephen R. Cooper, Casa Grande; Frank Thorwald, Show Low; Robert L. Wagner, Mesa; and Vanessa Hickman, ex-officio member and State Land Commissioner. Links to rules and statutes and other information about oil and gas in Arizona including online well data and logs may be found at the Commission’s web page at

Oil and Gas Administrator
Arizona Geological Survey

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