Deliveries from Northwest Territories Begin in May
Deliveries are scheduled to start in May from Canada's newest
gas production frontier in the Northwest Territories after a group
led by Chevron Canada Resources Ltd. achieved a breakthrough in
lining up approvals from a host of federal, territorial, native and
Construction is under way on a C$21 million (US$14.5 million)
pipeline to tie the 10-company consortium's spectacular discovery
at Fort Liard into Westcoast Energy Inc.'s northern-most arms of
the Canadian pipeline grid. The 23-mile stretch of 14-inch diameter
pipe initially will carry 75 MMcf/d from the group's first
discovery, one of the 10 biggest gas finds ever made in Canada. A
second, comparable well is scheduled to be put into production by
the end of the year after construction of another length of pipe
about 5.6 miles long.
While construction is arduous in the mountainous, heavily
wooded, all but roadless and almost entirely aboriginal region
where temperatures of minus-30øC (-22 Fahrenheit) are considered
mild at this time of year, doing the work in winter was a key part
of winning approval for the project. It makes clean, virtually
zero-damage water crossings possible because most streams are
frozen solid along with the ground so that going through them is
like working in rock.
Officials at Chevron Canada say the northern wells put it back
in the exploration business after about a two-year absence, because
they rate these wells as having world-class "impact." Elsewhere in
North America, only Canada's East Coast and deep-water drilling in
the Gulf of Mexico rank that high on Chevron's agenda of
exploration targets. The first Liard well found an estimated
400-600 Bcf of reserves. The northern activity is only the tip of
an iceberg of accelerating gas drilling as Canadian producers
scramble for new production to fill expanded pipeline capacity.
The gas hunt is accelerating throughout the Canadian industry
across the western provinces. The community's most conservative
forecaster, the Petroleum Services Association of Canada, has
issued revised projections raising its expectations for year-2000
western drilling by 7% to 14,545 wells.
Although partially a response to strong oil prices, the
acceleration is primarily attributed to gas. PSAC expects gas to be
the target for 70% of western Canadian drilling this year. The
group also projects a record 9,051 Canadian gas well completions,
3,401 oil successes, 1,900 dry holes and 193 service wells for
field uses such as waste-water disposal.
Alberta, source of four-fifths of Canadian gas production, is
expected to continue dominating field activity this year with about
70% of the wells. But northeastern British Columbia, almost
entirely a gas drilling area, is projected be a hot spot with a
record 1,308 wells. While Saskatchewan remains a heavy oil area,
gas is expected to account for about two-thirds of its projected
3,296 wells in 2000.
Gordon Jaremko, Calgary
©Copyright 2000 Intelligence Press, Inc. All rights
reserved. The preceding news report may not be republished or
redistributed in whole or in part without prior written consent of
Intelligence Press, Inc.