WA explorer dives into Alaska

By Courtney Pearson

April 23, 2015

INVESTMENT on a ‘good punt’ is easy to secure, and 88 Energy’s newly acquired Alaskan acreage is more than that, according to managing director Dave Wall.

Estimated to contain about 500 million barrels of unconventional oil, the 99,360-acre Icewine permit is perfectly placed for exploration on the vital Dalton Highway in the North Scope of Alaska.

“Typically you can only drill between January and May, which is their winter season, as that’s when you have ice cover,” Mr Wall said.

“But if you’re on the road, like we are, you can drill all year round.”

Mr Wall told media the time to explore is when the oil price is low, which was the strategy for Icewine.

Alaskan-based explorer Great Bear Petroleum has an acreage adjacent to Icewine, which is slated for drilling in November and through winter.

Mr Wall said he expected results from their campaign by mid to late June next year, which would loosely indicate the area’s resources.

If the Icewine permit is a production success, oil would be transported 850 miles south to Valdez and sent anywhere in the world at international prices.

“Because we’ve got all of those other things going for us we should be able to get a farm-in partner,” he said.

“Funding is the next big thing for us, and then drilling towards the end of the year – possibly September or October.”

Alaska has a rebate program this year where, which gives back $0.85 for every dollar spent by an exploration company.

Mr Wall said this was a deciding factor for the permit purchase.

“Instead of having to come up with 100 per cent of the money as normal this is effectively farmed out already for 85 per cent of the cost for zero working interest to the state,” he said.

“In terms of bang for your buck, this is the best place in the world by far to spend money – especially on exploration.”

The rebate will fall to $0.75 per dollar spent at the end of year, and then $0.30 a year later.

88 Energy, formerly Tangiers Petroleum, has a 10-year lease for the Icewine acreage.