88 Energy confirms light oil and gas at Hickory-1 discovery well in Alaska

April 02, 2024

(WO) – 88 Energy Limited announced successful flow testing of the Upper SFS reservoir in the company’s Hickory-1 discovery well, located in Project Phoenix on the North Slope of Alaska (88 Energy, ~75% WI owner).  

Upper SFS flow test results. A 20 ft perforated interval in the Upper SFS reservoir was stimulated via a single fracture stage of 241,611 lbs proppant volume. The well was cleaned-up and flowed for 111 hours in total, of which 88 hours was under natural flow back and 23.5 hours utilising nitrogen lift.

The USFS test produced at a peak flow rate of over 70 bopd. Oil cuts increased throughout the flow back period as the well cleaned up, reaching a maximum of 15% oil cut at the end of the flow test program.

Oil rates and cut would have likely increased further should the test period have continued. The well produced at an average oil flow rate of approximately 42 bopd during the natural flow back period, with instantaneous rates ranging from approximately 10 – 77 bopd with average rates increasing through the test period. 

Importantly, the USFS zone flowed oil to surface under natural flow, with flow back from other reservoirs in adjacent offset wells only producing under nitrogen lift. A total of 3,960 bbls of fluid was injected into the reservoir and 2,882 bbls of water was recovered during the flow back period, most of which being injection fluid.

Total flow rates (inclusive of recovery of frac fluid) averaged roughly 600 bpd over the duration of the flow back. Multiple oil samples were recovered with measured oil gravities of between 39.9 to 41.4 API (representing a light crude oil).

Additionally, some NGLs were produced but not measured, as was anticipated in the planning phase. The presence of NGLs was demonstrated by samples from the flare line and by visible black smoke in the flare.

 Historically, NGL prices on the North Slope of Alaska have been similar or slightly below light oil prices and are therefore considered highly valuable. Further work is required to quantify the exact volume of NGLs, which 88 Energy intends to include as part of a maiden certified Contingent Resource assessment at Project Phoenix for the SFS reservoirs. 

Successful flow test undertaken on the Upper SFS reservoir in Project Phoenix (Source: 88 Energy)

SMD-B flow testing operations. Preparation for the next state of the Hickory-1 flow testing schedule is underway and will focus on the proven SMD-B reservoir. As with the USFS test, this zone will be independently isolated, stimulated and flowed to surface.

Testing operations are scheduled to be completed in April 2024, with the on ground Alaskan team working hard to progress to this next stage as quickly as possible. Weather conditions have been particularly challenging with low temperatures and high winds experienced during operations to date. 

Additional information related to Hickory-1. Hickory-1 is in State lands on the North Slope of Alaska, adjacent to the Dalton Highway and Trans Alaska Pipeline, within Alaskan Oil and Gas lease ADL 392314.

88 Energy holds a ~75% working interest in the well and is operator. The well spudded on March 9, 2023, and was drilled to a total depth of 10,650 ft. Multiple prospective pay zones in sandstone reservoir between depths of 7,700 ft and 10,500 ft were identified.

Source: 88 Energy

88 Energy reported a maiden, independently certified Contingent Resource estimate of 136 MMbbl of hydrocarbon liquids (gross best estimate (2C) and 628 Bcfg, for the Basin Floor Fan (BFF) reservoir in Project Phoenix on Nov. 6, 2023.

Managing Director, Ashley Gilbert, said, “The completion of flow testing in this zone and recovery to surface of light oil, in addition to NGLs and associated gas, confirms our understanding of the substantial potential of these reservoirs.

“Significantly, these flow rates were achieved from only a 20 ft perforated section in a vertical well with a low volume stimulation over a short period. As previously highlighted, production rates in long horizontal production wells are typically multiples of 6 to 12 times higher than tested in vertical wells, as evidenced in many Lower 48 analogues.

“Importantly, the Upper SFS zone had not previously been intersected or tested at either Project Phoenix or on adjacent acreage. It is particularly exciting for us to produce oil to surface and demonstrate the producibility of this additionally discovered reservoir. Future plans for the assessment of the commerciality of Project Phoenix will be communicated post analysis of the Hickory-1 program.

“We will now proceed to undertake flow testing of the shallower SMD-B reservoir over the coming weeks. This is a zone which has previously been successfully tested on adjacent acreage to the north.”

Lead image: Flaring of gas and NGLs (Source: 88 Energy)

Connect with World Oil
Connect with World Oil, the upstream industry's most trusted source of forecast data, industry trends, and insights into operational and technological advances.