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88 Energy spuds high impact Alaska oil well

88 Energy has spudded its highly anticipated Winx-1 exploration well in Alaska’s famed “North Slope” oil province that has the potential to completely remake the company.

Winx-1 targets a gross, best estimate, prospective resource of about 400 million barrels of oil across multiple stacked objectives, including the Nanushuk Formation, which is the primary target of the well.

The high impact well is located adjacent to Oil Search’s Horseshoe discovery, which substantially extended the fairway for the successful Nanushuk oil play to the south and has resources of between 500 million and 1.2 billion barrels of oil.

The Winx prospect was identified by the Nanuq South 3D seismic survey, which covered Horseshoe and a large portion of the company’s Western Blocks project, as having a similar amplitude signature to that seen at Horseshoe.

88 Energy previously said that Winx-1 has a geological chance of success of between 25% and 30%.

The company is earning a 36% interest in the Western Blocks by paying for 40% of the drilling costs for the USD$15 million Winx-1 well. Its partners are fellow Australians Otto Energy and Red Emperor Resources.

Notably, the Western Blocks project is close to existing infrastructure, which provides a ready path to production in the event of success.

Alaska’s North Slope is home to some truly massive fields such as the giant Prudhoe Bay field.

However, there remains substantial potential for more discoveries in the area with US supermajor ConocoPhillips recently deciding to funnel additional funds into Alaska for future developments in areas that it has already identified.

These include the Greater Mooses Tooth area where the first well has already started production.

Meanwhile, Oil Search is keeping busy with the drilling of a side track well for its Pikka B well that encountered hydrocarbons in line with pre-drill expectations and is also planning to drill the Pikka C well through to the Nanushuk formation.

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