Calgary Herald

New Statoil project produces first oil

- DAN HEALING DHEALING@CALGARYHER­ALD.COM

Alberta has added another thermal oilsands producer to its ranks with news that the Norwegian/Thai-owned Leismer demonstrat­ion project has produced first oil.

The project, headed by 60 per cent owner Statoil of Norway and located 120 kilometres south of Fort McMurray, initiated steam injection in September, a month ahead of schedule.

“This is important because we deliver on us being able to develop these resources,” said Lars Christian Bacher, presi- dent of Canadian operations for Statoil Canada Ltd., on Thursday.

“We have shown internally and externally that we have put ourselves in a position of being able to grow further the production. Also we have this demonstrat­ion project that we will use to test a lot of the technologi­es we have been working on for the past 18 to 24 months and many of those technologi­es look promising.”

The first phase of the Leismer project, approved to 10,000 barrels per day, is expected to ramp up to its rated capacity of 18,800 bpd within 24 months, pending final approval by Alberta Environmen­t.

Bacher said there have been 23 well pairs drilled and 22 are being steamed. About 60 employees are operating the project.

Statoil has said future phases of its Kai Kos Dehseh steam assisted gravity drainage project will eventually expand production to 200,000 bpd.

It noted its next phase, Corner, is to add 40,000 bpd. It and a 40,000-bpd expansion of Leismer recently received approval by the Alberta Energy Resources Conservati­on Board.

PTT Exploratio­n and Production of Thailand struck a deal in November to pay $2.28 billion for a 40 per cent stake in Kai Kos Dehseh. Bacher said the partner is eager to quickly ramp up production.

In a recent report, Calgary investment bank Peters & Co. estimated thermal in situ oilsands projects could multiply production by six over the next 10 years to two million bpd.

It has doubled in the past two years to move than 300,000 bpd.

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