88 Energy (ASX: 88E) reports indicated potential hydrocarbon pay in new Hickory-1 update

By - Ankit Sethi


  • 88 Energy is an oil and gas explorer and the company is listed on Australia’s ASX as well as on other exchanges
  • Hickory-1 exploration well has shown signs of potential hydrocarbon pay, indicated by interpretation of logging-while-drilling (LWD) data
  • Nordic Callista Rig-2 to continue its drilling program into secondary reservoirs (total depth of ~11,000 feet) over the next few days


ASX-listed energy explorer and producer 88 Energy (ASX: 88E) -- primarily having interests in North America -- has reported successful intersection and drilling (SMD-A, SMD-B and SMD-C reservoirs) at its Hickory-1 exploration well. Notably, the initial interpretation suggests potential hydrocarbon pay, the company says. 88 Energy asserts that the presence is indicated by fluorescence under ultraviolet light in cuttings samples, with elevated C3-C5 mud gas readings as well as high resistivity

signatures and crossover of neutron density curves.

After announcement of this development on 29 March 2023, the shares of the company on ASX surged by 5% and were trading at AU$0.01 at the time of writing.

Source: 88E ASX announcement dated 29 March 2023

The development at Hickory-1

In a further development to the successful drilling of surface hole, 88 Energy has now announced successful intersection and drilling, with indications of potential hydrocarbon pay. The intersecting at three targets (primary SMD reservoirs) has been reported as a little shallower as compared to prognosed depths. The reservoir thickness is consistent with pre-drilling interpretation. The data collected suggests potential hydrocarbon pay, and 88E says that this aspect would be evaluated during the wireline logging and coring program (to be started after reaching the total depth).

Fluorescence under ultraviolet light was the key indicator of hydrocarbons. Alongside, “immediate and streaming” blue-white “cuts” (with application of solvents) also suggested permeability. 88E further confirms that prominent C3-C5 mud gas readings were found. Besides, there are high resistivity signatures at the Hickory-1 well, with crossover of neutron density curves.

The company has also confirmed that proposed flow testing of Hickory-1 well would take place in 2023/24 winter operational season (Alaska), subsequent to which the Kuparuk (KUP) reservoir (tertiary) would be evaluated. The company expects reaching the total depth (~11,000 feet) in the near-term, with drilling of secondary SFS and BFF targets to be completed over the next few days.

Source: 88E ASX announcement dated 29 March 2023

About 88E’s Project Phoenix

The company's project -- spanning over 82,800 gross acres, and having an estimated conventional total of 647 million barrels of prospective oil resources (mean unrisked, net to 88E) -- is located in Alaska (central north slope). It is on-trend to discoveries by Pantheon Resources Plc, and independent mapping suggests that similar plays also extend into 88E's acreage. Recent drilling by Pantheon has de-risked the Phoenix acreage, 88E confirms.