The first well "demonstrated the oil prone nature of source rocks in the basin," Mery said by email, and provided "sufficient encouragement" to convince Doyon to drill a second well. The Nunivak No. 1 well has since been plugged and abandoned, he said.
Mery did not provide a cost estimate, but Doyon and its partners, Usibelli Energy, Arctic Slope Regional Corporation and Denver-based Rampart Energy, sunk about $15 million into drilling the first well.
Doyon is the first company to take advantage of state incentives that reimburse companies for much of the cost of an exploratory well in the frontier basins, along with credits for seismic exploration.
In December, Doyon said it also plans to do seismic tests on some of its property in the Yukon Flats, with a goal of finding a prospect for future drilling.