Petrobank Energy and Resources is buying out its partners in two joint ventures that are to use its innovative fireflood heavy oil recovery technology (Toe-to-heel air injection – THAI). If THAI is fully successful it could increase oil recovery from the oilsands to 80% of oil in place.
Petrobank said it plans to spud (start drilling) its first expansion well at Kerrobert before month’s end. The expansion, approved in August, includes a further 10 THAI well pairs and surface facilities.
The Kerrobert pilot developed good results over the summer and bodes well for production from the expansion.
“It’s 10 wells and each well is expected to do 600 barrels per day,” Knowles said. “So 100 per cent of 12 wells including the pilot . . . is a pretty good start for them.”
The startup preheat ignition cycle is targeted for early in 2011 and production in the second quarter.
The THAI process encourages underground combustion of petroleum through the injection of air into a vertical well. An intersecting horizontal well then siphons off the resulting heated and softened oil.
Petrobank also has an owned THAI in situ oilsands pilot project south of Fort McMurray called Whitesands.
It said it will also proceed with a two-well project at Dawson as soon as regulatory approval is in hand and is targeting a minimum of 10 additional well-pairs as part of a near term expansion of the Dawson project.