Petrobank to boost cold heavy oil output

By OGJ editors

Petrobank Energy & Resources Ltd., Calgary, has adjusted its 2012 development plans for heavy oil projects in Canada toward cold production, in one case to prepare the reservoir for its proprietary toe-to-heal air injection (THAI) process.

The company recently reported production increases at its Kerrobert THAI project starting up in southwestern Saskatchewan (OGJ Online, Apr. 23, 2012). There, it said in its first-quarter financial report, “our operating philosophy remains unchanged with a focus on gradually increasing production, reducing pump and surface downtime, and reducing per-barrel operating costs.”

At its Dawson THAI project in northwestern Alberta, Petrobank deferred completion in late 2011 to save on costs of a winter start-up and will produce cold heavy oil from existing horizontal wells (OGJ Online, Nov. 30, 2010).

“We have determined that the Dawson reservoir would benefit from being preconditioned” by the cold production, the company said.

“We expect to begin the two-well THAI demonstration project in 2013, and the full-field THAI development application is expected to be filed after the THAI demonstration project is on production.”

Petrobank also will use some of its existing wells in Saskatchewan for cold heavy oil production.

“While Petrobank’s primary focus is THAI production, we will take advantage of existing opportunities on our lands to increase production,” it said. “Success with these completions and reactivations may lead to additional conventional drilling opportunities.”

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