88 Energy Limited (ASX:88E, AIM:88E, OTC:EEENF) (88 Energy or the Company) provides the following report for the quarter ended 31 December 2021.
Project Peregrine (100% WI)
· Merlin-2 targeting gross mean prospective resource of 652 million barrels1 with 56% aggregated geological chance of success.
· Drilling location selected is situated east and downdip of Merlin-1, where enhanced reservior thickness and higher permeability/porsity of sands are expected.
· Rig contract executed for Artic Fox to drill the Merlin-2 appraisal well.
· Merlin-2 Permit to Drill in the final stages of review by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM)
· Snow road contruction underway, with commissioning of drill rig commenced in January 2022.
· Spud of Merlin-2 appraisal well on track for February 2022.
Umiat Oil Field (100% WI)
· Optimisation studies continue, including full field development planning and evaluation of oil field synergies with Project Peregrine.
Project Icewine (75% WI)
· Assessment indicates extension of Pantheon Resources’ Talitha-A targets onto Icewine acerage.
· Updated prospective resource estimates to be finalized in H1 2022.
Yukon Leases (100% WI)
· Joint regional development negotiations and due dilligence processes well advanced with nearby resource owner.
· Future potential exploration drill planning is ongoing – subject to farm-out and joint development negotiations.
· Mr Oliver Mortensen appointed Chief Financial Officer.
· Cash of A$32.3M and no debt (as at 31 December 2021).
1. Mean unrisked prospective resource – Net Entitlement to 88 Energy. Please refer to cautionary statement on page 3
Project Peregrine (100% WI)
Merlin-2 Appraisal Well
The Merlin-2 appraisal well is scheduled for spud in February 2022 and permitted to a total depth of 8,000 feet. Merlin-2 is targeting a net mean aggregate prospective resource of 6521,2 million barrels across the N20, N19 and N18 horizons. The Merlin-2 well location has been selected from the three permitted locations and will be located east and downdip of the successful Merlin-1 well. This location is expected to encounter thicker reservoir sections and higher permeability/porosity sands.
On 26 October 2021, 88 Energy announced the execution of a rig contract with Doyon Drilling Inc for the Arctic Fox Rig to drill the Merlin-2 appraisal well. The Arctic Fox rig is a fully integrated, multi-module unit featuring a lightweight design crucial to early drill site access. Importantly, the rig unit allows for maximum over-the-hole drilling and with an eight-line hook-up, the substructure is capable of simultaneous load of 281,000lbs (for pipe set back) and 337,000lbs (rotary table). Commissioning of the rig will occur following inspection in January 2022 for immediate mobilisation to the Merlin-2 drill site. Snow road construction commenced in December 2021 and is progressing well.
A production testing program for the Merlin-2 was designed during the quarter and will be on standby during initial wellsite operations. The production test is contingent upon the wireline program results, government approvals and subject to operational, funding and weather considerations.
As at year end, the Permit to Drill for the Merlin-2 well was in the final stages of review by the BLM and remains pending. Permitting and planning for the Merlin-2 well is largely complete, with the last major permit being the Permit to Drill, with the well on track to spud in February 2022.
1. Mean unrisked prospective resource – Net Entitlement to 88 Energy
2. Please refer to cautionary statement on page 3.
Table 1: Project Peregrine Prospective Resource Estimate (August 2021)
1. Please refer to the ASX release dated 16 August 2021 for full details with respect to the Prospective Resource estimate, associated risking
Cautionary Statement: The estimated quantities of petroleum that may be potentially recovered by the application of a future development project relate to undiscovered accumulations. These estimates have both an associated risk of discovery and a risk of development. Further exploration, appraisal and evaluation are required to determine the existence of a significant quantity of potentially movable hydrocarbons.
Umiat Oil Field (100% WI)
During Q1 2021, 88 Energy acquired the Umiat Oil Field. As part of the acquisition, the Company received the Umiat data pack which includes Umiat 3D seismic data. The Umiat 3D survey abuts the southern edge of the Project Peregrine lease blocks. Integrating the Linc/Malamute seismic interpretation has provided a better understanding of the Peregrine reservoir geometries to the north as well as enriching our petrophysical database with additional well control (Umiat-8 and Umiat-23H).
Internal reinterpretation of modern 3D seismic is suggestive of untested reservoirs at Umiat. Prospects have been mapped in the footwall of the Umiat structure as well as downdip from the proven oil zone in the hanging wall. Initial internal volumetric calculations suggest there may be multi-million barrels of recoverable oil combined in the hanging wall and footwall. Both prospects are deeper than the current reserves at Umiat which should have a positive impact on productivity.
Development studies continued in the quarter focusing on the potential integration of Ultra Low Sulphur Diesel (ULSD) production with previous studies. Initial screening economics suggest that this development option adds further value to a future Umiat development, considering the high cost of diesel (currently ~$5/gal) on the North Slope of Alaska
A separate Umiat-23H well performance review was also finalised during the quarter. This well was drilled in 2014 by a previous owner and flowed at a sustained rate of 200 BOPD with no water, and a maximum rate of 800 BOPD. The review concluded that this well significantly underperformed due to poor drilling and completion techniques. A more conventional trajectory and completion design for a 5000 ft horizontal section was modelled to produce at stabilised rates of between 800 and 1600 BOPD. Consequently, an opportunity exists for the optimisation of historic subsurface development plans.
Project Icewine (75% WI)
88 Energy was buoyed by the drilling results of the Talitha-A well in Q1 of 2021, where multiple formations reported oil shows in the Talitha-A well by Pantheon Resources (see AIM: PANR release dated 19 April 2021). 88 Energy is closely monitoring activity proximate to the northern border of its Project Icewine acreage planned for Q1 2022.
There has been additional insight into the prospects of the Schrader Bluff, Canning, Seabee and Kuparuk formations, highlighted from the results of the Talitha-A program, which may have positive implications for the same formations in 88 Energy’s Icewine acreage.
All three wells drilled by 88 Energy at Project Icewine have encountered good quality reservoir in the Kuparuk formation, with indications of hydrocarbons. These had previously been interpreted as likely gas condensate or residual oil, and no mapped targets were identified.
The results at Talitha-A are regionally highly encouraging for all target formations, including those interpreted across Project Icewine. Given the results from the Talitha-A well, 88 Energy’s internal geoscience team is reassessing the potential across the acreage with an updated prospective resource estimate planned for 1H 2022.
Yukon Leases (100% WI)
The Yukon Leases contain the 82 million barrel1 Cascade Prospect, which was intersected peripherally by Yukon Gold-1 and classified as a historic oil discovery.
In 2018, 88 Energy acquired 3D seismic over Cascade and, post analysis, high-graded it from a lead to a drillable prospect. The Yukon Leases are located adjacent to ANWR and in proximity to recently commissioned infrastructure at Point Thompson.
Discussions advanced with nearby lease owners during the quarter with respect to a joint development area with negotiation agreements and due diligence underway.
1 Refer to 88 Energy release dated 7th November 2018. Note cautionary statement on page 3.
During the quarter, Mr Oliver Mortensen joined 88 Energy in the role of Chief Financial Officer (CFO).
On 6 December 2021, 88 Energy announced that a key contractor involved in the Merlin-2 operations who provides snow road and drilling management services had agreed to accept payment in new ordinary shares in 88 Energy for payment of up to US$7,500,000 worth of invoices to be incurred in relation to services associated with the Merlin-2 operations. This demonstrates significant support for the Merlin-2 well proposition and broader Project Peregrine opportunity. In consideration, 88 Energy has agreed to issue the contractor 407,650,000 new ordinary shares (“New Shares”) at a price of A$0.026 per share to the vendor.
The New Shares will be issued as a pre-payment for services and are to be held in escrow and subject to certain restrictions. The New Shares will only be released from escrow following approval by 88 Energy. The vendor has the option to dispose of the New Shares, subject to certain restrictions under the escrow arrangement, however any proceeds will be held in trust until the associated invoices are received and approved by 88 Energy. A reconciliation and final payment of any outstanding invoices (in cash) is to occur following completion of Merlin-2 drilling operations.
The ASX Appendix 5B attached to this quarterly report contains the Company’s cash flow statement for the quarter. The significant cash flows for the period were:
· Exploration and evaluation expenditure totalled A$3.1M (September 2021 quarter: A$4.9M), primarily associated with expenditure on Project Peregrine Merlin-2 well including planning, permitting, snow road construction and securing Arctic Fox Rig
· Lease rental payments totalled A$0.05M.
· Cash call proceeds received from Joint Venture partners totalled A$0.4M (September 2021 quarter A$6.7M)
· Administration and other operating costs, totalled A$0.9M and staff costs totalled A$0.6M.
Note: Includes fees paid to Directors in the quarter of $0.4M
At quarter-end, the Company had cash reserves of A$32.3M and no debt.
88 Energy is committed to building its credentials and making disclosures against the World Economic Forum (WEF) ESG framework. During the quarter, 88 Energy has made the following progress:
· Engagement of Socialsuite technology platform to establish ESG baseline and deliver the Company’s inaugural quarterly ESG Dashboard and tailored action plan.
· Providing employment to local Alaskans throughout the Merlin-2 drilling program.
· Participation in the Carbonfree® Business Partnership Program, thus offsetting emissions from the Merlin-1 program and other operating activities. In 2021 the Company reduced 6500 tonnes of CO2 emissions through a donation to Carbonfree® which supports verified projects that promote global warming solutions and help provide cleaner air and energy. The project chosen to offset the CO2 emissions was a U.S. based forestry conservation and carbon sequestration project.
Table 3: Information required by ASX Listing Rule 5.4.3
Pursuant to the requirements of the ASX Listing Rules Chapter 5 and the AIM Rules for Companies, the technical information and resource reporting contained in this announcement was prepared by, or under the supervision of, Dr Stephen Staley, who is a Non-Executive Director of the Company. Dr Staley has more than 35 years’ experience in the petroleum industry, is a Fellow of the Geological Society of London, and a qualified Geologist / Geophysicist who has sufficient experience that is relevant to the style and nature of the oil prospects under consideration and to the activities discussed in this document. Dr Staley has reviewed the information and supporting documentation referred to in this announcement and considers the prospective resource estimates to be fairly represented and consents to its release in the form and context in which it appears. His academic qualifications and industry memberships appear on the Company’s website and both comply with the criteria for “Competence” under clause 3.1 of the Valmin Code 2015. Terminology and standards adopted by the Society of Petroleum Engineers “Petroleum Resources Management System” have been applied in producing this document.
This announcement has been authorised by the Board.
Images of Project Peregrine long section showing: expected enhanced reservoir thickness to the east Wireframe; Merlin-2 well location, facing east and reservoir sands can be viewed in the pdf of this announcement on the Company’s website; Surface attribute map of the Lower Grandstand Unit; Shelf Margin Deltaic Extension into Project Icewine
Media and Investor Relations:
88 Energy Ltd
Ashley Gilbert, Managing Director
Tel: +61 8 9485 0990
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