Laricina Energy Ltd., Calgary, reported “encouraging” production test results at its Saleski pilot in the Athabasca region of Alberta, the first steam-assisted gravity drainage project in the Upper Devonian Grosmont carbonate.
A test begun on Mar. 5 in a well pair in the Grosmont C zone achieved peak production of 807 b/d of bitumen and average output of 445 b/d over 52 days. Flow exceeded 500 b/d for 21 days during the test cycle.
During a 27-day test of the zone in November and December 2011, production peaked at 812 b/d, averaged 511 b/d, and exceeded 500 b/d for 17 days, Laricina said in its first-quarter 2012 financial reports.
During the first quarter, in an effort to bring drilling costs in line with horizontal wells in clastic formations and improve well performance, Laricina drilled a well pair to test a balanced-pressure mud system and open-hole completion “to enhance early thermal start-up and steam-chamber development, which we expect to use in the 10,700-b/d Phase 1 commercial expansion,” Laricina said. The company applied for permits for the first commercial phase in December 2010.
Also during the quarter, the company completed a 4D seismic program at Saleski, which it said “confirmed observation-well pressure and temperature measurements, indicating good near-wellbore conformance, as expected in this early period of horizontal thermal operations.”
The company expects during the next 12-18 months to secure approval of an amendment to its permit application to increase production to 12,500 b/d. It also expects to begin steam injection into the C2 well pair, complete its 4D seismic evaluation on steam chamber development, and transition to its proprietary solvent-cyclic (SC) SAGD production method.
At its Germain commercial demonstration project west of Saleski, meanwhile, Laricina remains on schedule for start-up in the second quarter of 2013 of production of 5,000 b/d of bitumen from Lower Cretaceous Grand Rapids sandstone via SAGD and SC-SAGD.
Laricina has applied to expand Germain production to 155,000 b/d in a 30,000 b/d second project phase followed by two phases of 60,000 b/d each (OGJ Online, Mar. 12, 2012).