Australia-based oil explorer 88 Energy, through its wholly owned subsidiary Captivate Energy Alaska, has secured the acreage covering the entire Project Leonis lease area.

The oil and gas Division of the Alaskan Department of Natural Resources (DNR) has formally issued the award notices, after completing the adjudication process.

Last year, Captivate Energy Alaska has been declared as the highest bidder for the acreage, offered as part of the ‘North Slope Areawide 2022 Oil and Gas lease sale’.

88 Energy managing director Ashley Gilbert said: “Formal award of this new acreage provides confirmation of a further highly attractive Alaskan exploration proposition for our business.

“Project Leonis benefits from proximity to infrastructure and services at Prudhoe Bay and Deadhorse, as well as a historical well that indicated oil shows and calculated pay in the Upper Schrader Bluff (USB) zone of interest.

“Importantly, the lease area is covered by an existing 3D data suite, allowing us to undertake detailed, informed analysis to properly understand the exploration opportunity. Our team will now be busy utilising a suite of modern analysis techniques to further advance the Project.”

The Project Leonis acreage contains 10 leases covering around 25,430 contiguous acres and is fully covered by the Storms 3D seismic data suite.

It is surrounded by oil fields, Orion, Polaris, West Sak and Milne Point, and contains the historical exploration well, Hemi Springs Unit 3, which was drilled by ARCO in 1985.

The historical drilling in the region targeted deep Kuparuk and Ivishak reservoirs, the main producing intervals in the giant northern fields at that time.

88 Energy said that the review of Hemi Springs Unit 3 well showed more than 200ft of low resistivity bypassed log pay within the USB reservoir, with good porosity and oil shows.

The initial review and interpretation of the Storms 3D seismic data suggest a strong seismic-well tie and a clear seismic amplitude at the USB prospect level.

The future potential of the acreage can be determined, along with a possible exploration programme and the timeline for the project based on further analysis, said the oil exploration company.