Columbia E&P Joins Canadian Maritimes Ventures
Columbia Natural Resources Canada (CNRC) has joined with two
small Canadian producers targeting onshore Maritimes production to
feed the nearly completed Maritimes & Northeast Pipeline.
The Canadian affiliate of the U.S. Appalachia-based producer,
Columbia Natural Resources (CNR), has announced joint ventures with
two Nova Scotia and New Brunswick onshore producers --- Corridor
Resources Inc., based in Halifax, NS and named for the new pipeline
corridor, and MariCo Oil and Gas Corp., headquartered in
Fredericton, NB. Columbia purchased a 50% interest in drilling
projects of the two producers to tap mainly natural gas resources
to feed into the pipeline which is expected to be completed in time
for deliveries this winter.
"Exploration in the Canadian Maritimes is an exciting new
development. It is an area where we see real potential for growth,"
said W. Henry Harmon, CNR president, adding it was part of
Columbia's efforts to expand its E&P operations beyond the
Norman W. Miller, Corridor's president, said Columbia's interest
would provide a major impetus for development. "Columbia will bring
experience with the latest seismic and drilling techniques" gained
in its Appalachian properties. The region has a similar geology,
Under the terms of the agreement, Columbia will pay Corridor $1
million for a 50% working interest in Corridor's Sackville Basin
and Elgin Basin licences covering some 312,670 acres in
southeastern New Brunswick. The two companies have committed to
carrying out an extensive seismic program in the Sackville, NB,
area this summer and to drilling two exploration wells this fall,
one near Sackville and the other near Elgin. Corridor will act as
operator for activities undertaken this year with the operator's
role going to Columbia at the year's end.
The agreement with MariCo includes a 50% working interest in 17
tracts totaling more than 1 million acres and a 50% working
interest in the Downey No. 1 discovery well south of Moncton, NB,
and approximately 40 miles of seismic data also in southeastern New
Brunswick. Under this agreement CNRC anticipates completing the
Downey well and drilling two delineation wells this year.
Corridor was founded by three partners, including two Shell
Canada veterans in 1995 to search out and take an aggressive land
position within reach of the new pipeline. It now has petroleum
exploration licenses for a total of 5,650,109 net acres in New
Brunswick, Quebec and Prince Edward Island. The company's game plan
calls for "accessing a large historic database of geological and
drilling information, evaluating this data with new exploration
technologies, and preparing prospect plays which are suitable to
attract new partners." The first of such farmout agreements was
concluded with Shell Canada Ltd. in 1997 covering development on
Anticosti Island, Quebec.
Miller pointed out that the Maritimes area historically has
produced for local use. Changed economics from new drilling and
production techniques, plus a nearby mainline combine to upgrade
the area's prospects. He said they will be looking at several
levels and could go as deep as 12,000 feet.