Petro-Canada to divest oil sands properties

By OGJ editors
HOUSTON, Nov. 17 -- Petro-Canada plans to divest its interests in five in situ oil sands properties in Alberta so it can focus on other oil sands properties, some of which are scheduled to start in situ bitumen production in 2011.

The properties to be divested are Chard, Stony Mountain, Liege, Thornbury, and Ipiatik. Petro-Canada's interest in these properties is estimated to cover 1.7 billion bbl of bitumen.

Petro-Canada will open a data room Nov. 20. It hired Harrison Lovegrove, London, to manage the auction.

"Over the next 10 years or so, we'll be focusing all of our efforts on developing Fort Hills and our in situ properties of MacKay River, Lewis, and Meadow Creek," said Neil Camarta, Petro-Canada's senior vice-president, oil sands.

With this sale, Petro-Canada has an estimated 3 billion bbl of total bitumen resource at Syncrude and Fort Hills and more than 5 billion bbl in the in situ properties at MacKay River, Lewis, and Meadow Creek.

The company had earlier reported plans to submit a commercial application for the Fort Hills project by yearend, with a regulatory decision expected by late 2007 to be followed by construction lasting 3 years and oil production starting in 2011.

An expansion at MacKay River, by 2010, will increase production by 40,000 b/d, the company said.

It has evaluated 130 wells on its Lewis lease, as many as eight wells per section in some areas. Canadian sections are 1 mile square.

It also has delineated the Meadow Creek lease with eight wells per section. For both Lewis and Meadow Creek, Petro-Canada has not announced a definite timetable for initiating production (OGJ Online, Sept. 25, 2006).

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