PALYNOLOGICAL BIOSTRATIGRAPHY OF THE INTERVAL 1990-2484 FT, MOUNT ELBERT 01 WELL, NORTHERN ALASKA
The Mt. Elbert Gas Hydrate Stratigraphic Test Well (aka BP Mount Elbert 01 (Eileen) gas hydrate stratigraphic test), was drilled for the Methane Hydrate Research and Development (R&D) Progam. The well is located on the Alaska North Slope within the Milne Point Unit of the Prudhoe Bay Oil Field.
The well was drilled as part of a larger cooperative agreement between the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) and BP Exploration Alaska (BPXA),in collaboration with the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) and several universities and industry partners, to evaluate whether natural gas hydrate from the Alaska North Slope could be viably produced either technically or commercially.
The site selection was based on geological and geophysical evaluations that identified the Mount Elbert site as a fault-bounded gas hydrate trap with two prospective sand-rich reservoirs.The project assembled a team of scientists from the USGS, DOE, BPXA, Oregon State University, and RPS Energy to collect and evaluate core samples, geophysical well loGs, and pressure-test data designed to help determine the nature of gas hydrate reservoirs and their potential response to likely production techniques in preparation for expected future exploration on the North Slope.
Dr Jonathan Bujak undertook a palynological study of the well in 2012, on a complimentary basis, for Dr Dave Houseknecht at the USGS.
THE AZOLLA INTERVAL
Jonathan Bujak’s study demonstrates that the Mt Elbert well contains conventional cores with strata representing the termination of the Arctic Azolla Interval. These palynological data demonstrate that the interval lasted until the early part of the Middle Eocene (Lutetian), and this is particularly significant because the youngest section of the Azolla Event was not cored by the Arctic Coring Expedition (ACEX).
This study is available as a free report from Dr Jonathan Bujak.