88 Energy anticipates start of seismic
Expects 3-D survey to pinpoint conventional drilling targets; conducting further analysis of unconventional potential at Icewine
The latest quarterly report from 88 Energy Ltd. indicates that the company anticipates the imminent start of its planned 3-D seismic survey on the North Slope, covering about 500 square kilometers of state land some 12 miles west of the Dalton Highway. Start of the surveying operations will depend on the Department of Natural Resources opening the survey area for off-road tundra travel, the report says. The company has contracted Geokinetics Proprietary Inc. to conduct the survey, which should continue through until around mid-March.
Seismic interpretationThe company has previously conducted 2-D seismic surveying in its acreage and has also been reprocessing some legacy 2-D data. Interpretations of the company’s 2-D seismic and the recently completed re-interpretation of the legacy data have both provided very encouraging results. The idea now is to use 3-D data to delineate and mature the company’s portfolio of conventional oil prospects, to select candidate targets for exploration drilling in the first half of 2019, the report says. The company had been seeking permits to drill this winter but, as previously reported in Petroleum News, has deferred that drilling.
The planned 3-D survey is crucial to mitigating the exploration drilling risk in what are predominantly combination stratigraphic and structural hydrocarbon traps, and to attracting a farm-out partner for the drilling project, the report says.
The reprocessed 2-D data have brought to light some deeper prospects in the Torok and Seabee formations within the Brookian sequence, the youngest of the North Slope petroleum bearing rock sequences. These prospects are analogous to the Meltwater and Tarn fields to the north and are in sand bodies laid down on a basin floor during periods of relatively low sea level in an ancient marine basin.
The company now has a portfolio of 15 conventional oil leads, with a total unrisked mean resource estimate of 1.89 billion barrels. Some of these leads are associated with seismic amplitude anomalies, a phenomenon that can indicate the presence of hydrocarbons. And some correlate with potential reservoirs and oil shows found by regional wells, the report says.
Unconventional oilFrom the perspective of unconventional tight oil, a resource that 88 Energy has been seeking in its leases, the company has shut in its Icewine No. 2 well for the winter and is further evaluating the probability of success in producing oil directly from the HRZ oil source rock in the region. The company had been conducting flow testing from the HRZ in the well. The company anticipates continuing this flow testing in April or May, using artificial lift in an optimized well completion, the report says.
The company has expanded its state lease position to 286,589 net acres, having been awarded new acreage from its successful bidding in the state’s December 2016 lease sale. The company successfully bid on about 32,800 gross acres in the December 2017 lease sale, the report says. The Icewine project is operated by 88 Energy’s wholly owned subsidiary Accumulate Energy Alaska Inc. Regenerate Alaska Inc., another 88 Energy subsidiary, represented 88 Energy in the 2017 lease sale.
- ALAN BAILEY