Calgary-based Canadian Superior Energy, one of the largest land holders offshore Nova Scotia, said Thursday it hopes to begin drilling in the second quarter in its “Marquis” Abenaki Reef prospect, in the same trend as PanCanadian’s highly successful Deep Panuke discovery.

While PanCanadian has estimated Deep Panuke reserves at about 1 Tcf, Canadian Superior says its Marquis prospect is targeting reserves of up to 2 Tcf. The company said it has completed the wellsite surveying for its initial test well and is seeking final approval from the Canada-Nova Scotia Offshore Petroleum Board to begin drilling. The site is located about 100 miles off Nova Scotia.

“Our first Marquis well will test the main Abenaki reef fairway, directly on trend and up dip from PanCanadian Petroleum Limited’s deep Panuke discovery,” Mike Coolen, Canadian Superior’s Director of East Coast Operations said in Halifax Thursday. The drilling strategy differs from recent drilling activities conducted by other companies that have yielded disappointing results, he added.

“Drilling of the Marquis well will also take place at a time that allows us to capitalize on significantly lower service costs and when demand for East Coast gas is continuing to increase, and when projects adjacent to existing infrastructure are of premium value. This bodes very well for our projects”, Coolen said.

Earlier this month Maritimes & Northeast Pipeline LLC. submitted an application to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission for a Phase IV expansion of its pipeline from Nova Scotia into the U.S. Northeast that would nearly double its capacity from 415,000 to 800,000 Dth/d (see Daily GPI, Feb. 5). Maritimes has signed agreements with PanCanadian Energy Services Inc. to transport up to 400 MMcf/d of natural gas from PanCanadian’s Deep Panuke.

Canadian Superior’s 100%-owned Marquis block is located 12.5 miles northwest of Sable Island. It is directly on trend and analogous to the recent Deep Panuke discovery, 15.6 miles to the southwest where several successful delineation wells have been tested, each with productive capacity in excess of 50 MMcf/d.

Canadian Superior also said Thursday it has completed a detailed seismic review of its 100%-owned Mariner block, which is located directly adjacent to Sable Island Offshore Production’s (SOEP) Venture field, the largest single SOEP field, with 1.6 Tcf of proved producing reserves. The SOEP group currently produces 550 MMcf/d from three fields surrounding Canadian Superior’s Mariner block, the company said. The seismics have identified a feature with the potential to contain 500 to 750 Bcf of recoverable gas. The company plans to acquire extensive 3-D seismic over the block in the summer of 2002 to further delineate the Mariner Prospect for drilling in 2003.

In a related development, Canadian Superior reported today that after reviewing its undeveloped acreage offshore Nova Scotia, McDaniel & Associates Consultants Ltd. of Calgary, AB has appraised its holdings at C$85 million as of January 1, 2002. The company has a 100% interest in 934,065 acres offshore Nova Scotia (see Canadian Superior’s web site at to view the “Table of Major Offshore Nova Scotia Acreage Holders” and to view “Offshore Nova Scotia Maps” and the location of new Canadian Superior lands and proposed industry wells).

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