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US: 88 Energy provides Hickory-1 flow test update

28 Feb 2024

Photo - see caption

88 Energy reports final preparations for the commencement of flow testing operations are advancing at the Hickory-1 well, located within 88 Energy’s Project Phoenix acreage directly adjacent to the Trans-Alaska Pipeline System and the Dalton Highway.


  • Mobilisation operations are complete and pre-flow testing operations have advanced at the fully funded Hickory-1 discovery well, with current operations involving the testing of the blow-out preventers (BOP) installed on the wellhead.
  • Two flow tests are scheduled, one each in the Upper SFS and SMD-B reservoirs, with each expected to take approximately ten days.
  • Prior to perforating the first zone, wellbore preparations are required which include removing the existing string in the well, drilling out of the plugs and cleaning out of the wellbore.
  • Flow testing operations are set to deliver information critical to development planning, such as reservoir deliverability, fluid compositions, pressures and connectivity.

Flow test operations update

Current operations involve testing of the BOP followed by retrieval of the kill string from within the well, drill out of plugs, clean-up of the wellbore and change-out to completion fluid. This process is expected to span approximately five days.

Testing operations will focus on the two primary targets, the Upper SFS and the SMD reservoirs (refer Figure 1), which together represent a mean, unrisked, multi-hundred-million-barrel oil resource1,2,3 (refer Table 1). The Upper SFS reservoir will be tested first followed by the SMD-B reservoir. Each zone will be
independently isolated, stimulated and flowed to surface using nitrogen lift to assist in an efficient clean-up of the well. Perforation, completion-running and stimulation is expected to take approximately four days, followed by a clean-up and flow period of up to four days and a pressure build-up of up to two days for a total of ten days to complete each of the two flow tests.

An extensive suite of data is planned to be captured including, but not limited to, downhole and surface fluid samples, downhole pressure and temperature data, surface pressure and temperature data, as well as flow rates of oil, gas and water. This data is essential in maturing development plans by accurately constraining reservoir models used to progress the next phases of Project Phoenix.

Any future development plan for Project Phoenix would be expected to include horizontal wells to maximise oil rates. As is evidenced in many Lower 48 analogues, horizontal wells typically produce at rates 6-12 times higher than vertical wells, once lessons from field development are captured in the appraisal phase.

Offset exploration vertical well tests, similar to the Hickory-1 discovery well, have all flowed in the 50-100 BOPD range per test. Water to oil ratios, gas to oil ratios and the evolution of rates and pressures over time are critical data sets that assist in development planning and forecasting. It is not uncommon for formation water to be produced sustainably in conjunction with hydrocarbons in these types of reservoirs, as is often observed in producing analogues in the Lower 48. Vertical wells provide cost effective access to test multiple reservoirs in a single wellbore and are therefore the crucial first steps on the path to development of Project Phoenix resources.


Figure 1: Flow testing program to target two of the four pay zones intersected in the Hickory-1 discovery well.

The Company looks forward to providing an update on commencement of the Upper SFS flow test (refer Figure 2).

A screen shot of a computer Description automatically generated

 Figure 2: Flow testing program timeline (scheduled days)

Original announcement link

Source: 88 Energy

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