CALGARY, Feb. 6, 2012 /CNW/ - Athabasca Oil Sands Corp. (TSX: ATH) is pleased to provide a light oil operations update for its Kaybob property located in the Deep Basin area of northwestern Alberta.
The company recently drilled and completed its first Montney horizontal well in the Kaybob East area, located at 13-22-64-18W5. The 1,220 metre lateral was fracture stimulated with 14 stages of energized oil treatments and was flow tested during 78 hours. During the final 24 hours of the test and after having recovered all the load fluids, the well flowed at an average rate of 2,560 barrels of oil equivalent per day (boe/d), (2,265 barrels per day (bbl/d) of 41 degree API oil with 1.8 million cubic feet per day (mmcf/d) gas), at a stabilized flowing pressure of 450 pounds per square inch gauge (psig). The well is currently shut in until it can be connected to infrastructure. The company holds a significant land position offsetting this well and will continue the delineation of the Kaybob East acreage throughout first quarter of 2012.
In late fourth quarter of 2011, Athabasca also drilled and completed its second Kaybob Nordegg horizontal well at 04-11-63-20W5, offsetting its first successful Nordegg well at 13-14-63-20W5. After completing the 16 stages of slickwater fractures, the 04-11 well flow tested at a final rate (after four days of clean up) of 420 boe/d, (335 bbl/d of 41 degree API oil and 500 thousand cubic feet per day (mcf/d) gas), at a flowing pressure of 910 psig. Based on the success of this second Nordegg test, the Company will focus its Nordegg delineation on the Kaybob area with further horizontal drilling, core analysis and incorporation of the Company's recently acquired 3D seismic dataset.
The company has drilled two more Montney horizontal wells and one Duvernay horizontal well in the Kaybob area and expects completion and testing to be performed over the next few weeks.
Development of the Kaybob area will benefit from Athabasca's decision to build its 100% owned infrastructure in 2012. The construction of the 63-kilometre, 12 inch gas pipeline from Kaybob to the Simonette gas plant is on schedule and is expected to be completed in the first quarter of 2012. In the second quarter of 2012, the Company plans to commence construction of one 10,000 barrels per day (bbls/d) oil battery and one 24 million cubic feet per day (mmcf/d) compression station. The company intends to subsequently expand these facilities to ultimately handle all of Athabasca's production volumes from the greater Kaybob area. The company anticipates that the facilities and pipeline will be fully operational during third quarter of 2012. Athabasca currently has 1,250 boe/d tied into third party facilities on an interruptible basis and substantial production capacity behind pipe waiting on the completion of its own facilities.
"The recent well results are excellent and I am very proud of our light oil team," says Sveinung Svarte, president and CEO. "These wells have high liquids ratios confirming our successful strategy of acquiring acreage located within the oil and condensate window of the basin. Our infrastructure construction is advancing as scheduled and we are confident that we will be able to meet our 2012 exit rate target of between 8,000 and 10,000 boe/d."
Athabasca is also continuing exploration and delineation drilling in the Simonette, Placid, Waskahigan and Grande Prairie areas and is currently operating five drilling rigs. Since entering the light oil business, Athabasca has drilled and completed 16 horizontal wells. Three of these wells are currently being tested. A full operational update from both the light oil operations and from the oil sands activities will be provided in connection with the release of our year-end financial results in March.
Athabasca is a dynamic, Canadian company focused on development of oil resource plays in Alberta, Canada. It has accumulated a large, high quality resource base suitable for extraction of extra heavy crude oil (bitumen) and light oil. The company is well financed and with its excellent assets and talented people, Athabasca is poised to become a major Canadian oil producer. It is traded on the TSX under the symbol ATH.
This News Release contains forward-looking information that involves various risks, uncertainties and other factors. All statements other than statements of historical fact are forward-looking statements. The use of any of the words "anticipate," "plan," "continue," "estimate," "expect," "may," "will," "project," "should," "believe," "predict," "pursue" and "potential" and similar expressions are intended to identify forward-looking statements. The forward-looking information is not historical fact, but rather is based on AOSC's current plans, objectives, goals, strategies, estimates, assumptions and projections about AOSC's industry, business and future financial results. These statements involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors that may cause actual results or events to differ materially from those anticipated in such forward-looking statements. No assurance can be given that these expectations will prove to be correct and such forward-looking statements included in this News Release should not be unduly relied upon. These statements speak only as of the date of this News Release. In particular, this News Release may contain forward-looking statements pertaining to the following: AOSC's capital expenditure programs; AOSC's drilling plans; AOSC's plans for, and results of, exploration and development activities; AOSC's estimated future commitments and business plans; AOSC's plans with respect to the Company's light oil assets. With respect to forward-looking statements and forward-looking information contained in this News Release, assumptions have been made regarding, among other things: existing and future well production rates, well drainage areas, success rates of future well drilling, and production growth; the timing of completion of facilities, including pipelines, the number of drilling rigs to be operated, AOSC's ability to obtain qualified staff and equipment in a timely and cost-efficient manner; the regulatory framework governing royalties, taxes and environmental matters; the applicability of technologies for the recovery and production of AOSC's reserves and resources; the sufficiency of budgeted capital expenditures to carry out planned activities future capital expenditures to be made by AOSC; future sources of funding for AOSC's capital programs; geological and engineering estimates in respect of AOSC's reserves and resources; the geography of the areas in which AOSC is conducting exploration and development activities; and AOSC's ability to obtain financing on acceptable terms. Actual results could differ materially from those anticipated in these forward-looking statements as a result of the risk factors set forth above and in the company's Annual Information Form dated March 28, 2011, which is available on the SEDAR website at www.sedar.com ("AIF"), including: fluctuations in market prices for crude oil and natural gas; general economic, market and business conditions; variations in foreign exchange and interest rates; factors affecting potential profitability; uncertainties inherent in estimating quantities of reserves and resources; AOSC's status and stage of development; failure to meet development schedules and potential cost overruns; increases in operating costs can make projects uneconomic; environmental risks and hazards and the cost of compliance with environmental regulations, including greenhouse gas regulations and potential Canadian and U.S. climate change legislation; failure to obtain or retain key personnel; the substantial capital requirements of AOSC's projects; the need to obtain regulatory approvals and maintain compliance with regulatory requirements; extent of, and cost of compliance with, government laws and regulations and the effect of changes in such laws and regulations from time to time; changes to royalty regimes; failure to accurately estimate abandonment and reclamation costs; risks inherent in AOSC's operations, including those related to exploration, development and production of crude oil and natural gas reserves and resources, including the production of crude oil and natural gas using multistage fracture and other stimulation technologies; the potential for management estimates and assumptions to be inaccurate; incorrect assessments of the value of acquisitions; long term reliance on third parties; reliance on third party infrastructure for project facilities; failure by counterparties to make payments or perform their operational or other obligations to AOSC in compliance with the terms of contractual arrangements between AOSC and such counterparties and the possible consequences thereof; the potential lack of available drilling equipment and limitations on access to AOSC's assets; aboriginal claims; seasonality; hedging risks; risks associated with establishing and maintaining systems of internal controls; insurance risks; claims made in respect of AOSC's operations, properties or assets; competition for, among other things, capital, the acquisition of reserves and resources, export pipeline capacity and skilled personnel; the failure of AOSC or the holder of certain licenses or leases to meet specific requirements of such licenses or leases; risks arising from future acquisition activities; volatility in the market price of the common shares. The risks and uncertainties referred to above are described in more detail in AOSC's AIF which is available on the SEDAR website at www.sedar.com. See also AOSC's financial statements and Management's Discussion and Analysis for the year ended December 31, 2010 and for the current interim financial period, which are also available on SEDAR. Readers are cautioned that the foregoing list of risk factors should not be construed as exhaustive. The forward-looking statements included in this News Release are expressly qualified by this cautionary statement. AOSC does not undertake any obligation to publicly update or revise any forward-looking statements except as required by applicable securities laws.
"BOEs" may be misleading, particularly if used in isolation. A BOE conversion ratio of six thousand cubic feet of natural gas to one barrel of oil equivalent (6 Mcf: 1 bbl) is based on an energy equivalency conversion method primarily applicable at the burner tip and does not represent a value equivalency at the wellhead.
The well-flow test results disclosed in this new release are not necessarily indicative of long-term performance of the well or of ultimate recovery from the well.
For further information:
Vice President, Communications & External Affairs
Andre De Leebeeck
Director, Investor Relations
Manager, Investor Relations