The programme will cover a 460 square kilometre area, and the aim is to ‘firm up’ potential exploration well sites for the broader Project Icewine venture.
Up until now the primary and appraisal exploration focus has been on the HRZ shale play, which has seen two wells drilled. However, the seismic programme is now addressing the significant conventional oil potential in the area.
88 Energy has previously estimated some 1.9bn barrels of conventional oil potential for the Project Icewine, based on features seen in 2D seismic data.
The new 3D seismic programme is focussing on the ‘Western Play Fairway’ where the company sees multiple ‘stacked’ (i.e. on top of each other) conventional oil prospects. It means single future exploration wells could test multiple targets.
Nearby exploration projects have recently enjoyed significant successes, with billions of barrels of new oil resources unearthed in Alaska’s North Slope over a number of years.
Seismic success would set up 88 Energy for conventional oil drilling, and could enable a new exploration partnership to be agreed.
“The objective of the 3D acquisition and interpretive effort in 2018 is to mature the conventional portfolio with a view to select one or more drilling candidates for the 2019 season,” 88 Energy said in a statement.
“Results are scheduled to be in house in August/September 2018, which will facilitate a planned farm-out prior to year-end on the drilling program.”