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88 Energy set to break ice on Alaskan oil flow test

All American Oilfield’s rig during the commissioning phase for 88 Energy’s Hickory-1 well flow test. Credit: File

88 Energy is poised to launch into the critical flow-testing phase for the Hickory-1 well at its Phoenix project in Alaska after commissioning its rig and finishing off the construction of its ice pad.

With joint venture (JV) partner Burgundy Xploration contributing its share of the costs for the drilling and logging of Hickory-1, testing is expected to start within the next 10 days once the mobilisation of All American Oilfield’s “Rig 111” is completed.

The Hickory-1 well sits within 88 Energy’s Phoenix project acreage, directly adjacent to existing infrastructure including the Trans-Alaska pipeline system and the Dalton Highway. Management says it is preparing to flow test two shallow reservoir intervals in Hickory-1, both of which showed strong hydrocarbon indicators during drilling.

Successful testing would lead to an upgrade to the company’s existing resource category, converting part of the prospective resource at the project to the higher-confidence “contingent” category. It would be a major step forward for the Phoenix project.

We look forward to the upcoming planned Hickory-1 flow tests which, if successful, will enable the certification of additional contingent resources in the shallower reservoirs and move another step closer to appraising the discovery. 88 Energy managing director Ashley Gilbert

Burgundy, which recently secured funding from professional oil and gas investors, has committed to its role in co-funding the project and has also paid 88 Energy a US$1.75 million (AU$2.65 million) cash call balance owing from last year.

88 Energy has confirmed the construction of the ice pad at Hickory-1 has been completed, in addition to the commissioning of the drill rig. The company recently certified an additional 250 million barrels of oil equivalent (MMboe) in its best estimate of gross contingent reserves within the basin floor fan reservoir at its Phoenix project.

The maiden resource for the reservoir interval – the deepest hit by the Hickory-1 well in March last year – provided a boost for the project ahead of the coming tests in the shallower reservoirs of the well. The company’s assessment of the basin floor fan reservoir interval attributed 44 million barrels of oil and 91 million barrels of non-gas liquids to the 2C best-estimate contingent gross resource category, in addition to 628 billion cubic feet (BCF) of gas for a total of 250 MMboe.

With the prospect of increasing its contingent resources from the flow tests that look set to kick off within days, along with several recent acquisitions, 88 Energy seems to be defying the Alaskan cold and is heating up at its extensive acreage.

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