88 Energy Ltd. was granted extension approval by the Bureau of Land Management for a full field development plan for Alaska North Slope Umiat oil field. The 2-year extensions to unit obligations were requested following data collection from the Merlin-1 well and additional seismic analysis.
The field lies at the northern edge of the Brooks Mountain Range thrust-fold belt in the eastern part of the National Petroleum Reserve of Alaska (NPR-A) (OGJ Online, Jan. 11, 2010). About 220 miles south of Prudhoe Bay, it is covered by two leases comprising 17,633 acres and contains high quality (38° API) crude at shallow depth.
Merlin-1, part of Project Peregrine, was spudded in March 2021 and penetrated a thick section of Grandstand sands in the Umiat reservoir unit (OGJ Online, Apr. 6, 2021). Sidewall cores confirmed presence of oil. Wireline data collected over this interval is being analyzed and integrated with 3D seismic data obtained when Emerald House, a subsidiary of 88 Energy, acquired the Umiat Unit lease from Malamute Energy Inc. and Renaissance Umiat LLC in January(OGJ Online, Jan 11, 2021). The survey abuts the southern edge of the Project Peregrine lease blocks.
Preliminary pressure analysis suggests potential for bypassed pay in the footwall of the Umiat structure and seismic indicates additional reservoir sands in the footwall of the structure.
The extension will optimize the plan, which will include development in conjunction with nearby Project Peregrine and enable 88 Energy to leverage knowledge gained from Merlin-1 to plan an efficient operational program and possible tie-in to the nearby Willow oil field development, the company said.
Other goals during the extension are to identify and map potential future drilling locations and determine from biostratigraphy and new seismic acquisition if Umiat and Project Peregrine targets share the same reservoir interval.
Revised unit obligations are as follows:
- Year 2: Current: Sept. 1, 2020 to Aug. 31, 2022; Amended: Sept. 1, 2020 to Aug. 31, 2023.
- Year 3: Current: Sept. 1, 2021 to Aug. 31, 2022; Amended: Sept. 1, 2023 to Aug. 31, 2024.
- Year 4: Current: Sept. 1, 2022 to Aug. 31, 2023; Amended: Sept. 1, 2024 to Aug. 31, 2025.
- Year 5: Current: Sept. 1, 2023 to Aug. 31, 2024; Amended: Sept. 1, 2025 to Aug. 31, 2026.