88 Energy Ltd., Perth, was the winning bidder of for acreage offered as part of the Alaskan North Slope 2022W oil and gas lease sale.
The acreage, which lies about 40 km north of the company’s Icewine project, will be known as Project Leonis. It comprises 10 leases covering 25,600 contiguous acres and existing 3D seismic data.
The acreage contains the Hemi Springs Unit#3 exploration well drilled by ARCO in 1985 that targeted the deep Kuparuk and Ivishak sands—the main producing reservoirs at that time—in the northern oil fields on the North Slope.
An initial review of the well showed over 200 ft of low resistivity bypassed log pay within the Upper Schrader Bluff (USB) reservoir that contained oil shows in good porosity sands, the company said.
Subsequently, the reservoir has been developed in nearby Orion, Polaris, West Sak, and Milne Point oil fields.
The prospect appears to be bounded by faults on three sides which could offer potential trapping mechanisms, the company said.
The acreage lies adjacent to the existing Trans Alaska oil pipeline and the Dalton Highway.
88 Energy will need to study the regional setting and faulting that defines the potential exploration target before it can decide on a future work program, said managing director Ashley Gilbert.
The new leases are subject to an adjudication process, regulatory approvals, and formal award which is expected in first-half 2023.