It is another boost to Alaska's struggling oil and gas industry. 

Cook Inlet Region, Inc. and Doyon Limited are announcing a joint venture to drill an exploratory well in the Nenana basin, west of Fairbanks.

CIRI officials say the Totchaket #1 well will be drilled in one of "several promising oil and gas prospects" it identified, based on a seismic program in 2017. CIRI says the well will be drilled to a depth of about 12,500 feet, approximately 20 miles north of Nenana, on the east side of the Tanana River.

CIRI's Senior Vice President of Land and Energy Development, Ethan Schutt, says that the well is about a $20- to $30 million investment that could bring up to 50 jobs when the well is operational. 

"If it finds commercial accumulations of natural gas, it would be a local source of natural gas for Fairbanks-- a community that's been looking for cheaper energy supply for quite some time," Schutt said.

Drilling operations are expected to begin this summer.

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