The 88 Energy limited has made an oil discovery with its Merlin-1 exploration well in the southeast National Petroleum Reserve-Alaska, and the test results are expected in the next few days. A geologist said that this finding can be important because it would showshow that an oil-bearing regional geologic formation, where discoveries have previously been made,
The geologic modeling and seismic data, 88 Energy estimates a potential oil resource of 650 million barrels at Merlin-1. The national Petroleum reserve is a 23-million-acre federal reserve west of Prudhoe Bay and other large producing fields on the North Slope.The Australian independent 88 Energy found oil at multiple intervals in Merlin-1 but an important oil column was detected in the Nanushuk. It is a geologic formation extending across the eastern NPR-A where other companies have made discoveries.
ConocoPhillips and Search say that their findings could hold several hundred million barrels of recoverable oil. ConocoPhillips, the largest crude oil producer, has also made a discovery at West Willow and is evident to find at Harpoon.
The Australian independent said that the wireline testing is now underway at Merlin 1 to assess the mobility of the oil, or its ability to flow through rocks. But Richard Garrard, an independent Alaska exploration geologist, said data released by 88 Energy indicates the presence of light oil.Eleven wells were drilled by the Navy and a private company, but Umiat was never commercially developed. The Australian Energy cemented and plugged old wells to satisfy US Bureau of Land Management terms when it acquired two federal leases at Umiat covering 17,633 acres.