Through its agreements with Great Bear Petroleum Operating ("Great Bear") in 2015, Otto acquired between an 8% and 10.8% working interest (equivalent to 56,712 net acres) in two areas of Alaskan North Slope exploration acreage held by Great Bear.
Great Bear is a private exploration company focused exclusively on exploring and developing conventional and unconventional resources on the North Slope of Alaska.
Great Bear is the dominant exploration acreage holder in this highly prospective basin, holding approximately 534,653 gross acres in a major play fairway south of the Prudhoe Bay and Kuparuk giant oil fields. Great Bear has undertaken significant exploration work on the acreage since 2011 including:
- Acquisition and processing of approximately 2,970 km2 of 3D seismic data (1,170 km2 in 2016);
- Drilling of two unconventional stratigraphic test wells which cored three primary unconventional targets; and
- Drilling of a conventional exploration well (Alkaid-1) which specifically targeted a 3D defined Brookian reservoir. The Alkaid well results are under evaluation.
The extensive, modern 3D seismic coverage, existing well control and proximity to the all-weather Dalton Highway and Trans-Alaskan Pipeline System (TAPS) means the acreage is well positioned for exploration.
Existing 3D seismic has allowed development of an extensive prospect portfolio which includes at least 4 well locations.
Otto’s exposure on the first three wells is limited to US$2.6m/well.
Nearby Alaska Activity
Adjacent to the Otto Energy acreage, exploration success by other North Slope operators continues:
- In March 2017, the Repsol/Armstrong Horseshoe-1 well immediately to the west of Otto’s acreage resulted in a significant conventional oil discovery which is estimated to contain approximately 1.2 billion barrels of recoverable light oil;
- ConocoPhillips/Anadarko recently announced a Nanushuk Formation discovery of greater than 300 MMbbl;
- Caelus Energy discovered 2.4 Bbbl EUR light oil at Smith Bay in 2016; and
Operator continues to mature high impact exploration prospects for the 2018/19 northern winter drilling campaign. Opportunities which have the ability to test multiple play types and contain large volumetric upside will be given preference.
48 blocks in Alaska in which Otto has an interest are due to expire on 30 April 2018. The State of Alaska, Department of Natural Resources, Division of Oil and Gas have recently granted extension of these blocks until 30 April 2021 on the basis of specified work commitments and lease terms. Together with the block operator Great Bear Petroleum, Otto is evaluating the renewal terms.