88E further de-risks HRZ play

Published at Feb 10, 2016, in Energy

Both permeability and porosity at 88 Energy’s (ASX:88E) Icewine-1 have come in at levels “significantly in excess” of cut-off limits required for the underlying HRZ shale play to be successful.

The Alaska-focused ASX player told its investors today that samples on 18 cores taken during the drilling of Icewine-1 had come in on the higher end of expectations.

Both matrix permeability and porosity – two key measures of whether a shale play may be successful, were tested by crushing core samples to fine grain particles to ensure more accurate results.

While 16 of those samples came back on the high side for permeability, two samples reportedly showed permeability which was simply too high to be tested using the conventional method.

Meanwhile, while it didn’t spell out a porosity figure it said that it came in “at upper end of expectations as per prognosis”.

The positive test results could have somewhat de-risked the HRZ shale play, the main objective of the Icewine-1 well drilled towards the back-end of last year.

88E meanwhile confirmed that light oil and condensate was observed leaching from the core.

Still to be tested are final thermal maturity and rock mechanics, the results of which should be known over the coming weeks.

“Two of the three main ‘Achilles Heels’, being thermal maturity and matrix permeability, have now been substantially de-risked, coming in at, or above, pre-drill expectations,” 88E managing director Dave Wall told investors.

“Additional work remains, including that associated with fraccability and final thermal maturity; however, at this stage of the evaluation we could not have hoped to be in a better position.”

News of the positive test results sent 88E shares skyrocketing in early trade, up 14.2% to 0.8c at the time of writing.

Meanwhile, it confirmed a 3D seismic campaign over the Icewine area is expected to take place in March subject to final approvals.

About Icewine-1

The testing is taking place on cores taken during the drilling of Icewine-1 in Decembver last year.

The well was designed to primarily test the HRZ shale, but also tapped the shallower Brookian and deeper Kuparuk horizons.

It was drilled as a vertical well to test all horizons at Icewine, with the drilling also set to be backed up by 3D seismic in the near term.

88E is hoping Icewine-1 and a possible follow-up well will substantially de-risk the HRZ play, having effectively tripled its acreage position over the Icewine project last year.

The increased acreage position means that its target HRZ shale now has a recoverable estimate of a whopping 2 billion barrels of oil on 88E’s acreage.

It previously had a high case of 813.2 million barrels of oil.

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