Texas-based Rangeland Energy established a Canadian foothold Tuesday with an oil pipeline project in a rare corner of the northern Alberta bitumen belt where heavy oil flows without costly artificial stimulation of wells.
Calgary subsidiary Rangeland Midstream Canada Ltd. announced plans for 85 kilometers (53 miles) of oil and condensate lines in the emerging Marten Hills production area, about 200 kilometers (120 miles) north of Edmonton.
Completion is scheduled for the second quarter of 2020. Initial service bookings by oil producers will fill a minimum 40% of the new pipe capacity and future output from 450,000 acres of drilling prospects is also committed, Rangeland said.
Marten Hills is a rare location, in a vast but technically difficult Alberta deposit known as the Clearwater formation, where oil flows into horizontal wells without costly hydraulic fracturing or natural gas-fired steam injections.
Recent earth sciences advances uncovered the sweet spot in a geological structure that has been known for a century. Development of Marten Hills remains in early stages, with the industry still evaluating the production area’s size and output volume potential.