01/02/2021 - 15:00

88 Energy set to work its magic on Merlin-1 well

01/02/2021 - 15:00

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A week after new US President Joe Biden sent a shudder through the petroleum sector by temporarily halting future oil & gas property leasing, Australia’s 88 Energy is preparing to commence a critical drilling campaign on its already secured leases on Alaska’s prolific North Slope. The company is ticking all the boxes as it prepares to spud the first well at its exciting Project Peregrine.

A week after new US President Joe Biden sent a shudder through the petroleum sector by temporarily halting future oil & gas property leasing, Australia’s 88 Energy is preparing to commence a critical drilling campaign on its already secured leases on Alaska’s prolific North Slope. The company is ticking all the boxes as it prepares to spud the first well at its exciting Project Peregrine.

Led by former market analyst and company director, Dave Wall, 88 Energy is preparing for the imminent handing down of its permit to drill the Merlin-1 exploration well in the NPR-A region of the Alaskan North Slope.

With confirmation that the Alaskan Bureau of Land Management has deemed its application to drill the wildcat well as complete, 88 Energy says the final stamp of approval is expected to be handed down on February 12.

Field operations are already underway in the area and rig commissioning is moving ahead in preparation for its mobilisation over the new few days.

88 Energy Managing Director, David Wall said: “After a brief hiatus in activity, it is now back to full operations with ramp up towards the spud of Merlin-1, which is expected in around four weeks.

“We would like to once again thank the Alaska Congressional Office and the BLM for their support of our project as well as the Deputy Assistant Secretary for Land and Minerals Management.”

The Merlin-1 well is scheduled for spud in late February / early March 2021 and is targeting 645 million barrels of gross mean prospective resource, with management planning to flow test the well if wireline logging confirms a discovery.

Merlin-1 is being drilled in 88 Energy’s Project Peregrine area which encompasses approximately 195,000 contiguous acres. It is situated on-trend to recent discoveries in a newly successful play type in topset sands in the Nanushuk formation. The prestigious American Association of Petroleum Geologists recently said that new Nanushuk Formation discoveries have confirmed the world-class exploration potential of the newly proven stratigraphic play.

Following a recent farm-out, 88 Energy’s 100 per cent working interest in the project will reduce to 50 per cent post the completion of funding as part of the arrangement, with 88 Energy carried on the first US$10 million of an estimated US$12.6 million total cost for the Merlin-1 well.

A second exploration well, Harrier-1, is planned to commence immediately following completion of operations at Merlin-1, subject to the results from Merlin-1, the schedule and permit approvals. Harrier-1 is targeting gross mean prospective resources of 417 million barrels, with the well having an estimated budget of approximately US$7 million.

The North Slope of Alaska remains one of the most productive areas in the world for oil and gas, according to the latest United States Geological Service assessment who recently estimated that 3.6 billion barrels of oil and 8.9 trillion cubic feet of natural gas make up the untapped conventional resources in Alaska’s Central North Slope.

The only question remaining now is will some of those resources be found downhole when 88 Energy spuds Merlin-1?

 

Is your ASX-listed company doing something interesting? Contact: matt.birney@businessnews.com.au

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