Australia-based Oil Search could get positive results from the testing of the Nanushuk reservoirs which were intersected in the Mitquq 1 ST1 and the Stirrup 1 wells in Alaska, US.

The company said the two wells were drilled, logged, cored, and flow tested. Included in the flow tests were a clean-up, flow period and a pressure build-up before the final flow test to evaluate well deliverability.

The Mitquq 1 ST1 sidetrack well assessed the Mitquq 1 oil discovery, located 9km east of the proposed central processing facility of the Pikka Unit Development. The Mitquq 1 well intersected a net pay zone of 172ft with a gas cap of 29ft, said the company.

As per the company, the well flowed at a stabilised rate of 1,730 barrels of oil per day (bopd) from a single stimulated zone.

The Stirrup 1 exploration well, on the other hand, is located nearly 12km west of the 2017 Horseshoe discovery well, and 35km southwest of the proposed Pikka Unit development infrastructure. The exploration well intersected an oil column having net pay of 75ft.

Oil Search said that upon testing, the well flowed at a stabilised rate of 3,520 bopd from a single stimulated zone.

According to the company, the two Mitquq and Stirrup 1 oil discoveries along with the Mitquq 1 ST1 and Stirrup well tests have given it valuable information about the geology and well productivity of the Nanushuk play in the areas located to the east and south west of the Pikka Unit.

Additionally, the discoveries underpin the potential for material resource growth across its leases, said the Australian oil and gas company.

Having completed the testing at the two well locations, the company’s crews are demobilising and are not likely to return there until mid-April.

The company said that further appraisal will be needed with the new discoveries likely to represent low cost tie-back options to the Pikka Unit Development. Furthermore, the discoveries are said to have the potential to generate considerable long-term value for Oil Search’s shareholders.

Owing to the prevailing market conditions, the company had recently announced that the final investment decision date for the Pikka Unit Development has been delayed.

Oil Search management comments on the results of the well tests

Oil Search managing director Keiran Wulff said: “We are very encouraged by the success of our 2019/20 Alaskan exploration programme, with oil discovered in all three penetrations, at Mitquq 1, Mitquq 1 ST1 and Stirrup, and excellent flow rates achieved in the two well tests.

“We also discovered high quality oil in a deeper reservoir at Mitquq which was not tested. We now have a strong understanding of the geology and potential productivity of the prolific Nanushuk play that underlies our portfolio of leases on the North Slope, which could add substantial resource and value to the Pikka Unit Development.”