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  • 88 Energy (88E) has had its operations in Northern Alaska disrupted by a recently announced 60-day suspension of authority
  • The suspension from the US Department of the Interior relates to the issuance of new drilling permits on federal land
  • 88 Energy submitted its permit to drill application on January 12, and originally expected approval by February 12
  • The company has taken steps to minimise expenditure until the situation is clarified further
  • 88 Energy remains in a trading halt, at 1 cent per share

88 Energy (88E) has had its operations in Northern Alaska disrupted by a recently announced 60-day suspension of authority.

The US Department of the Interior declared the suspension of authority for Department Bureaus and Offices. The suspension related to the issuance of new drilling permits on federal land, in addition to other matters.

While the authority for approvals has not been completely withdrawn, it has been delegated to various higher positions within the government’s structure.

88 Energy has operations in the NPR-A region of Alaska’s Northern Slope, which may be affected by this suspension of authority. 

The oil and gas explorer submitted its permit to drill application on January 12, 2021. As such, the company originally expected to receive approval by February 12, 2021, a standard 30 days after application.

88 Energy is maintaining close communication with the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) as it ascertains how the 60-day suspension will be understood and applied. The BLM has indicated that it plans to process the permit to drill, with the expectation of receiving a signature by February 12.

88 Energy’s Managing Director, Dave Wall, said that it is currently unclear if this development will impact the company’s operations.

“We anticipate being able to get clarity on the situation within the next week,” he said.

“We have a strong case to be granted the permit given the many permits that have already been granted as well as our considerable, and ongoing, operations in the field,” he added.

88 Energy has taken steps to minimise its expenditure until the situation is clarified further. However, the company is already optimistic, as a result of its existing operations being quite advanced.

Further, the project status was escalated through the appropriate channels over the weekend, allowing positive progress to be made.

The company intends to provide a further update about its application and the suspension sometime this week. 

88 Energy remains in a trading halt, at 1 cent per share.

88E by the numbers
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