London-headquartered Pantheon Resources Plc said this week analysis of the Kuparuk Formation at its Talitha project on the Alaskan North Slope points to an estimated 1.4 billion barrels of oil in place and a prospective recoverable resource of 341 million barrels (MMbbl) of oil.
Developing about 240 MMbbl of this resource, which would call for about 62 producing wells in the zone, could yield a potential NPV10 of more than $1.48 billion—using the WTI current forward price curve—with an NPV per barrel of $6 and an IRR of 55%, the company said in a news release.
The Kuparuk Formation was the deepest of three formations penetrated by the Pipeline State #1 wellbore on Pantheon’s acreage.
The company said it plans to drill a well at Talitha in early 2021 subject to completion of a farmout. The well will test the Kuparuk and two other shallower horizons: the Shelf Margin Deltaic (SMD) and the underlying Slope Fan System. An Independent Expert Report that covered a 20,600-acre reservoir section of the SMD certified a prospective resource of 302 MMbbl.
Pantheon also said oil was previously encountered throughout the Slope Fan System, for which a resource assessment is underway, while the original Pipeline State #1 well was being drilled.
Bob Rosenthal, technical director for Pantheon, said productive analogs boosts confidence about future development.
“The SMD is the major new geological play type in the region where the recent large discoveries have been made and are now subject to major development programs,” Rosenthal said in the statement. “We are fortunate to have all these plays tested in one well with a mixture of older proven play types and the new and exciting play type which has yielded the largest onshore discoveries in the world over recent years.
Pantheon CEO Jay Cheatham added that Talitha, if successful, could be the most impactful well of his 50-year career.
“This appraisal well will test three separate and independent targets which collectively offer the potential for greater than a billion-barrels of recoverable oil,” Cheatham said. “Each of these targets compare in size to large deepwater offshore projects around the world. In our case they are onshore USA.
“The Talitha location is adjacent to the major highway and Trans Alaska Pipeline network serving the North Slope, positioning us beautifully in the event of success for a development, even in a low oil price world,” Cheatham added. “Despite our obvious excitement about Talitha, an appraisal well updip from discovered oil, nothing is without risk in this business and commercial success is never guaranteed before drilling.”
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