Caelus Energy Alaska Acquires Majority Ownership in Smith Bay Oil Leases
‘Tulimaniq’ represents highly prospective play – exploration drilling planned for this winter
(June 17, 2015, Anchorage, AK) Caelus Energy Alaska, LLC (‘Caelus’) is pleased to announce the acquisition of a 75 percent working-interest ownership in NordAq Energy Inc.’s Tulimaniq leases located in Smith Bay on the North Slope of Alaska. Smith Bay is approximately 150 miles west of Prudhoe Bay and is well documented for its extensive hydrocarbon potential. Slightly more than 117,000 acres (gross), the 26 leases were assigned to Caelus Energy Alaska Smith Bay, LLC a wholly owned subsidiary of Caelus. As a result, Caelus becomes the operator and will lead the exploration drilling program this winter season.
The agreement, set to be finalized June 18, 2015, follows on the heels of other recent announcements from Caelus including the sanction of its onshore oil development project Nuna, and the acquisition of 323,000 acres in the State of Alaska’s fall lease sale.
Caelus President and CEO James Musselman commented on Caelus’ newest addition to its Alaska portfolio: “We’re extremely excited. The NordAq Energy team has done a great job of defining the geologic potential in Smith Bay. Our team is ready to take the helm and get to work on exploring and appraising the Tulimaniq play. What we see in this region has us all pretty motivated.”
“Our winter exploration operation planning is underway. Caelus looks forward to continuing our strong working relationships with the local communities of the North Slope, the North Slope Borough, as well as our state and federal regulatory partners to ensure a smooth transition. We’re also extremely fortunate to be supported in our efforts by North Slope veterans Doyon Drilling and Cruz Construction. The winter exploration operation will require upwards of 400 personnel to drill 1-2 exploration/appraisal wells – it’s a large-scale program” Musselman said,
“Alaska’s current oil fiscal system, including its exploration incentive credits, attracted Caelus to Alaska in 2013 and has been a key component in the company’s recent business decisions,” Musselman emphasized. “We have a lot of work to do in Alaska. Having a stable policy that encourages finding and producing more oil for Alaska, including credits, will be pivotal in future investments decisions.“
NordAq Energy chief executive officer Paul L. Devine said his company is encouraged by Caelus’ commitment to Alaska and the experience they bring to the project. “NordAq is very grateful to have a partner of their caliber to operate on our behalf, and commit the energy and capital to a significant play like Tulimaniq.”
“We are also very grateful to CIRI Energy, NordAq’s secured lender, for the role it played in facilitating this important transaction.” Devine said
About Caelus Energy Alaska, LLC
Caelus Energy Alaska, LLC (‘Caelus’) is a privately held independent exploration and production company that currently operates the Oooguruk unit on the North Slope of Alaska. The company specializes in exploration, development, and production of oil and gas. Caelus is currently focused on the pursuit, identification, and development of strategic opportunities across Alaska. Caelus prides itself on agility, state-of-the-art strategies and a unique approach to exploration and project development.
Headquartered in Dallas, with an office and operations in Alaska, the team at Caelus has earned a reputation of integrity and innovation, and is a leader in developing world-class operations.
About NordAq Energy Inc.
NordAq Energy Inc. (NordAq) is an independent oil and gas company based in Anchorage, Alaska. The company was established by the present Board and management team in 2008 to explore, appraise and develop hydrocarbon reserves in the State of Alaska. Its portfolio includes prospects and resources in the Kenai Peninsula on the Cook Inlet and Smith Bay on the North Slope.out Nordaq Energy Inc.
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Caelus Energy Alaska, LLC