Australia-headquartered 88 Energy has selected a location for its Merlin-2 appraisal well on Alaska’s North Slope.

The company said the well location is east and downdip of its successful Merlin-1 well. Drilling is scheduled to begin in February, using the Arctic Fox rig it leased from Doyon Drilling in late October.

88 Energy said it is capable of extending the winter exploratory season by as much as 50%.

Stay a step ahead with the Upstream News app
Read high quality news and insight on the oil and gas business and its energy transition on-the-go. The News app offers you more control over your Upstream reading experience than any other platform.

The Merlin-2 location was selected from three previously permitted locations and is expected to encounter thicker reservoir sections than Merlin-1. The company said in April that the Merlin-1 well had found oil in "multiple horizons".

“The Merlin-2 appraisal well is planned for a total depth of 8,000 feet, and is targeting 652 million barrels of oil in the highly prospective N18, N19 and N20 targets that were encountered in the successful Merlin-1 well [drilled in March 2021 to a depth of 5,267 feet], which demonstrated the presence of oil in these multiple stacked sequences in the Brookian Nanushuk Formation,” the company said.