Baytex buys oil sands acreage, plans pilot

Baytex Energy Corp., Calgary, plans to begin pilot thermal recovery project next year on oil sands acreage it has acquired in the Cold Lake region of northeastern Alberta.

It acquired a 100% working interest in 46 sections of undeveloped oil sands leases on which a two-stage steam-assisted gravity drainage project has been approved. Total consideration was $120 million.

Baytex didn’t identify the seller. A map on its web site indicates the acreage encompasses Koch Exploration Canada Corp.’s Gemini project, for which provincial authorities have conditionally approved a 1,200-SAGD pilot and a 10,000-b/d development (OGJ Online, Mar. 14, 2012). The conditions relate to protection of ground and surface water.

Baytex said success of the pilot could be followed by a commercial 5,000-b/d project starting in 2014 with initial production in 2016.

It said the acquired acreage has potential for cold as well as thermal production.

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