Cen­ovus in­vest­ment may ben­e­fit Drumheller area

The Drumheller Mail - - FRONT PAGE - Pa­trick Ko­lafa

Drumheller may ben­e­fit from more oil and gas ac­tiv­ity in light of a re­cent an­nounce­ment by Cen­ovus.

Last week Cen­ovus re­leased its 2017 cap­i­tal plan fo­cus­ing on dis­ci­plined growth, to in­crease its cap­i­tal spend­ing 24 per cent com­pared to last year. One of its ma­jor high­lights is that the com­pany is ready to re­sume con­struc­tion of the Phase G ex­pan­sions of its Christina Lake oil sands pro­ject.

“Our de­ci­sion to pro­ceed with this drilling pro­gram, and to restart con­struc­tion on phase G of our Christina Lake oil sands pro­ject, was largely driven by the progress we’ve made over the last cou­ple of years in re­duc­ing our over­all cost struc­tures and our con­fi­dence that the ma­jor­ity of those cost re­duc­tions will be sus­tain­able over the longer term,” said Brett Har­ris me­dia lead for Cen­ovus.

Part of its plan that may ben­e­fit Drumheller comes from its con­ven­tional port­fo­lios that tar­gets growth in the Pal­liser Block. This area, that sur­rounds Brooks at the south­ern end and ex­tends to­wards Drumheller at it north­ern­most point, is slated for $160 mil­lion of growth cap­i­tal di­rected to­wards the area.

“To date, we’ve iden­ti­fied about 700 at­trac­tive drilling op­por­tu­ni­ties on the Pal­liser Block. In 2017, we plan to al­lo­cate about $160 mil­lion to drill ap­prox­i­mately 50 hor­i­zon­tal de­vel­op­ment wells and 60 strati­graphic (de­lin­eation) wells,” he said. The Pal­liser Block has tight oil and natural gas. “We in­tend to pur­sue some ex­cit­ing op­por­tu­ni­ties on the Pal­liser Block to gen­er­ate short-cy­cle cash flow to sup­port con­tin­ued growth in our oil sands as­sets, which is con­sis­tent with our long-stand­ing con­ven­tional strat­egy,” said Brian Fer­gu­son, Cen­ovus Pres­i­dent & Chief Ex­ec­u­tive Of­fi­cer in a press re­lease. “Our in­vest­ment plans for Pal­liser and Christina Lake phase G far ex­ceed our in­ter­nal rate of re­turn thresh­old.”

This bud­get also calls for $150 mil­lion for main­te­nance and op­ti­miza­tion across its con­ven­tional port­fo­lio. This in­cludes pro­jects in Pal­liser, Wey­burn, Pel­i­can Lake and Suffield.

“We would ex­pect our planned 2017 drilling pro­gram at Pal­liser to re­sult in some in­cre­men­tal ac­tiv­ity in the Drumheller Region. The finer de­tails are still be­ing worked out,” said Har­ris.

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