Junior explorer 88 Energy (ASX: 88E) and its consortium partners Otto Energy (ASX: OEL) and Red Emperor Resources (ASX: RMP) will progress to wireline activities at the Winx-1 exploration well in Alaska after completing the first round of drilling.
Providing an update to their respective shareholders on the Alaskan activities today, the trio announced it had reached a total depth of 6,800 feet on 3 March at Winx-1.
As well as hitting all pre-drill targets, the companies disclosed they had identified multiple pay zones, including the primary target zone known as the Nanushuk topsets.
According to Alaska’s Department of Natural Resources, the Nanushuk tends to have superior reservoir quality due to matrix winnowing and less compaction.
A comprehensive wireline logging program will now begin to verify the prospectivity of the zones of interest.
Based on the results, the consortium will then move to decide on whether to proceed with production testing of the most prospective zone within the Nanushuk Formation.
Commenting on the initial drilling activities, operator 88 Energy said it was encouraging to encounter potential pay zones in both the primary and secondary targets.
“Whilst it is still early days, we are well placed and look to the wireline program with measured optimism,” company managing director David Wall said.
Winx-1, in Alaska’s North Slope, sits about 6km east of Armstrong-Repsol’s 2017 discovery well, Horseshoe-1/1A.
At the time, the find was hailed as the largest conventional onshore US discovery in more than 30 years.
The trio are targeting a gross best estimate prospective oil resource of 400 million barrels of oil across multiple stacked objectives at Winx-1.
Under an acreage joint venture agreement executed last July, the consortium was required to drill a commitment well before 30 May 2019 to earn 90% of private company Great Bear Petroleum’s working interest (88 Energy 36%/Otto 22.5%/Red Emperor 31.5%).
The companies officially started drilling operations at Winx-1 last month after receiving approval from the Alaska Oil and Gas Conservation Commission.
88 Energy shares soared 31.2% on the news to $0.021 in afternoon trade while Otto jumped 9.6% to $0.068. Red Emperor also gained traction, with shares increasing 71.9% to $0.098.