Beluga Underground Coal Gasification (UCG) Exploration Project for CIRI/Laurus – 2009-2012
Our involvement began in 2009 when Laurus Energy approached AES for advice on where they should focus their attention in Alaska. They wished to identify and develop power from a proprietary process which captured gas from controlled combustion of underground coal beds. AES management introduced Laurus Energy to the CIRI Land and Resources Department in late 2009 and following these early meetings a partnership between CIRI and Laurus evolved. AES was selected to manage the exploration of CIRI lands within the Tyonek-Beluga area on Cook Inlets west shore. Widespread data from past coal and gas exploration was researched and compiled. Primary target areas were identified and initial field visits was initiated ar narrow the selection of areas to be explored with geophysics and drill holes. The gained momentum quickly and with input from Laurus and its consultants. AES project managers tracked approved budgets and completed progress reports to the CIRI Land and Resource Department. The project included mobilization of equipment across Cook Inlet in winter, survey and development of snow roads and ice bridges, drill pad clearing and construction, geologic logging, winter seismic surveys with heli-portable blast hole drills, diamond core drilling to 2500 foot depths and rotary drilling with downhole Odex tooling for installation of casing, installation and monitoring of water wells, coordination of air support, camp coordination, community engagement and subcontracting with Tyonek Construction.