88 Energy Limited (LON:88E) told investors it expects that the Charlie-1 well will spud in late February.
A permit to drill was awarded yesterday for the well and now all necessary permits are in hand.
Preparations for the well programme continue on Alaska’s North Slope with the ice road now more than 80% complete and rig mobilisation anticipated in around 10 days.
"Excellent progress has been made on the ice road construction, despite extremely cold temperatures,” said Dave Wall, 88 Energy managing director.
88 Energy last week raised A$5mln of new capital with the funding expected to cover any potential costs above those carried by Premier Oil PLC (LON:PMO) – which in 2019 agreed a farm-in deal to participate in the project.
Premier is paying up a total of US$23mln to drill Charlie which is designed to be an appraisal of the Malguk-1 discovery made by BP in 1991.
Malguk-1 discovered 251 feet of light oil pay in turbidite sands but was never tested. Premier estimates an accumulation of more than one billion barrels of oil in place, based on the original well data and its evaluation of the existing 3D dataset.
Charlie-1 will intersect seven stacked prospects, four of which are considered appraisal targets.
The total Gross Mean Prospective Resource across the seven stacked targets to be intersected by Charlie-1 is 1.6 bn barrels of oil (480mln barrels net to 88E).
The team-up deal sees 88 Energy retain a 30% stake in the Area A portion of the Project Icewine acreage. Additional option deals are in place that would give Premier access to Areas B and C.