88 Energy has secured permit to drill (PTD) approval from the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) for its Merlin-2 appraisal well in Alaska, US.

The Merlin-2 well, which is situated in Project Peregrine in the NPR-A region of the North Slope of Alaska, is scheduled to be spudded in early March this year.

88 Energy said that the Arctic Fox rig has been commissioned and started mobilisation to the Merlin-2 drilling location. The drilling, along with wireline logging, is expected to take up to four weeks.

The construction of the single-lane snow road was also completed to the Merlin-2 location.

88 Energy managing director Ashley Gilbert said: “Following a period of review we are pleased to have the PTD in hand, and the mobilisation of the Arctic Fox rig commencing to the drilling location ahead of spud in early March 2022.

“We look forward with excitement to the drilling of the highly anticipated Merlin-2 appraisal well.”

With a plan to drill up to a total depth of 8,000ft, the Merlin-2 appraisal well is targeting 652 million barrels of oil in the N18, N19 and N20 targets that were encountered in the Merlin-1 well.

Merlin-1 has shown the presence of oil in these multiple stacked sequences within the Brookian Nanushuk Formation, said the company.

88 Energy owns 100% working stake in the Project Peregrine project, which consists of around 195,000 contiguous acres.

The Merlin-1 well was spudded in March last year, with drilling operations completed in April same year.

According to the company, post-well evaluation has shown the presence of oil in N20, N19 and N18 targets.

In January this year, 88 Energy agreed to acquire the Umiat oil field located in North Slope Borough from Malamute Energy and Renaissance Umiat.