Resource Update Vindicates Rampart Position on North Slope Shale

Australia-based Rampart Energy Ltd. reported Thursday that it and partner Royale Energy’s acreage on Alaska’s North Slope is estimated to hold between .8 billion barrels and 9.5 billion barrels of original oil in place.

The companies received final shale oil resource estimates from Netherland Sewell and Associates (NSAI), Rampart said in an Aug. 22 press release. NSAI conducted from June to August an independent prospective resource assessment of 39,539 acres the companies are jointly developing to determine the acreage’s unconventional oil in place and potentially recoverable shale oil. The assessment also covered 17,139 acres in the Central Block in which Rampart has future acquisition rights.

The core units analyzed for shale oil potential included the Shublik, HRZ and Kingak section of the Cretaceous and Jurassic stratigraphy. Using data from existing wellbore penetrations and regional datasets, NSAI determined that the acreage is a prospective resource with a most likely volume of 2,936 barrels of oil per acreage from the three sections.

“This vindicates the position of the board in terms of its view on the prospectivity of the North Slope acreage,” said Torey Marshall, Rampart’s managing director and chief executive officer, in a statement. “We believe this is the beginning of a very exciting six months for the company, with this shale oil resource estimate a key driver of external interest in Rampart Energy.”

At this time, NSAI has only completed a prospective resource assessment for the acreage’s unconventional shale oil potential. The acreage’s conventional prospects are still being assessed.

The new estimate is expected to add material upside to the resource being explored by the companies. Additional block resource will be assessed following the report’s completion, and a final agreement with a seismic contractor is expected soon, Rampart reported in the press release.

Marshall noted that the company is “well-positioned” to capitalize on the likely shale boom in Alaska similar to the boom in shale exploration and production in the U.S. Lower 48.

“While these numbers just represent the oil potential of the main shale source units, we are very much looking forward to further analysis of the conventional resource potential,” Marshall commented.

The U.S. Geological Survey in 2012 estimated Alaska’s North Slope to hold up to 2 billion barrels of undiscovered, technically recoverable oil resources and up to 80 trillion cubic feet of undiscovered, technically recoverable natural gas.


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