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September 19, 2012 --- Vol. 18, No. 73September 2012

Great Bear looks to accelerate development

Great Bear’s results so far from its Alcor No. 1 shale oil test well on Alaska’s North Slope have met expectations for finding oil in North Slope source rocks, Ed Duncan, the company’s president and CEO, told the Alaska Oil and Gas Congress today.

“I can tell you with absolute confidence that where we thought we would find oil in these source rocks, we found oil,” Duncan said, noting the Shublik was thicker than expected.

Given the results of the testing, Duncan said that his permitting team is now working with the state on a change in plan, to potentially proceed with some long-term production testing of the wells, in hopes of accelerating the shale oil development program.

There is still much work to do “but we’re working hard to bring the decision forward, for ourselves and for the state of Alaska, for regional development by as much as a year,” Duncan said.

Great Bear is currently drilling its second test well, the Merak No. 1 well, next to the North Slope Haul Road. That well has reached the bottom of the GRZ/HRZ, the shallowest of the North Slope source rock horizons, and today the drillers took a core sample from that horizon at a depth of about 9,100 feet, Duncan said.

“We’ll drill the rest of the section over the coming few weeks,” he said.

The Alcor well penetrated all three of the major North Slope source rocks: the HRZ/GRZ, the lower Kingak and the Shublik, Duncan said.

—Alan Bailey

See story in Sept. 23 issue, available online on Friday, Sept. 21 at 11 a.m. at www.PetroleumNews.com

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