An internal analysis of the SMD-B sequence encountered by the Talitha #A well has led to a new estimate of 2.6bn barrels of oil in place and a mean recoverable contingent resource (P50) of 404mln barrels.
The SMD interval at Talitha comprises three individual components: the SMD-A, the SMD-B and the SMD-C.
Previous management estimates across all three SMD intervals was 1.8bn barrels OIP and a 483mln barrel P50 recoverable resource.
Within that, SMD-B was estimated to account for 265mmbo, implying an increase in that section of more than 50% from the technical work.
Pantheon said that the new estimate relates just to SMD-B and that the SMD sequence overall was the shallowest of five discrete oil-bearing intervals encountered by the well.
The oil group added the excellent data quality from Talitha #A allowed it to integrate well log response and core data with seismic petrophysics to map the section.
Analysis on the SMD-A and SMD-C zones is still ongoing, said Pantheon, though current expectations are for resources in SMD-A to see a reduction and SMD-C to be broadly unchanged.
“Today’s resource upgrade is significant in that it is both (a) materially larger in size, and (b) management believe meets the higher resource classification of ‘Contingent Resource’, than the previous ‘Prospective Resource’,” said the statement.
An independent estimate in September 2020 pointed to 302mmbo Prospective Recoverable Resource across all three zones of the SMD.
Pantheon reiterated that as its assets are located close to the Dalton Highway in Alaska, this will materially reduce development costs.
The group also confirmed discussions have commenced with a number of groups about farming out of a working interest percentage in one or more of the projects in Alaska.
The objective is to have some new funding in place by the fourth quarter for a winter programme that will see all zones of Talitha #A tested and one other well drilled at either Alkaid or Theta West.
Bob Rosenthal, Pantheon’s Technical Director, said: “The discovered oil in the SMD, which we can now identify across five separate wellbore penetrations in the area, increases our confidence in the potential size and quality of this resource.
“All the data and technical analysis to date point to a consistent result in terms of the size of the discovery. “
Jay Cheatham, chief executive, added that today’s update was another important step in proving up one of the largest conventional oil discoveries in North America and follows the 1.4bn barrel resource estimate on the Theta West/Basin Floor Fan earlier this year.
“It is also worth remembering that the resource potential of the Kuparuk and the Slope Fan System is yet to be reported.
“The analysis to date is very encouraging, as is the strong oil price outlook which has resulted in greater interest in the sector from corporates, investors and industry players alike.”