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

The notice of award has been issued by the oil and gas division of the Alaskan Department of Natural Resources (DNR) following completion of the adjudication process.

Last year, Captivate Energy Alaska emerged as the highest bidder for the acreage, which was offered as part of the North Slope Areawide 2022 Oil and Gas lease sale.

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

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.”

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

88 Energy said that the Hemi Springs Unit 3 well review showed more than 200ft of low-resistivity bypassed log pay within the USB reservoir, with good porosity and oil shows. Based on initial review and interpretation of the Storms 3D seismic data, a strong seismic-well tie and a clear seismic amplitude is suggested at the USB prospect level.

88 Energy also noted that future potential of the acreage can be determined, along with a possible exploration programme, based on further analysis.