BlackPearl delays Onion Lake thermal EOR

By OGJ editors

Construction of a thermal enhanced oil recovery project in Saskatchewan will be delayed by volatility in debt capital markets, says operator BlackPearl Resources Inc., Calgary.

BlackPearl early in June said it planned to use steam-assisted gravity drainage to produce 12,000 b/d of heavy oil at its Onion Lake property on First Nation land near Lloydminster. Primary production at Onion Lake now averages about 5,000 b/d (OGJ Online, June 4, 2013).

Acceleration of the thermal project was to have helped fund a larger SAGD project in northern Alberta called Blackrod.

BlackPearl said it will defer a proposed $350 million second-lien senior secured term loan facility for Onion Lake and will reevaluate financing options when capital markets stabilize.

Although Onion Lake construction will await alternative financing, engineering and some long-lead planning will continue, it said.

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