March 30, 2005 --- Vol. 11, No. 33March 2005

Central Mackenzie find raises hopes; more work needed

More work is needed to determine the commercial prospects of an eagerly followed exploration program in Canada’s Central Mackenzie Valley, Unocal said March 30.

But initial testing of one well reinforced hopes of a discovery that could feed into either the under-utilized Enbridge oil pipeline from Norman Wells or the planned Mackenzie Valley natural gas pipeline — both of them about 45 miles from the program area.

Winter results from two wells in the Northwest Territories were “encouraging,” but have not reached the stage where the emerging play can be rated commercially viable, said David Pearce, president of Unocal subsidiary Northrock Resources, the operator of both wells.

Testing of the Summit Creek B-44 well confirmed “several productive intervals within a gross hydrocarbon column of over 600 feet.”

Two separate intervals produced at rates of about 10 million cubic feet per day of natural gas and 3,000 barrels per day of light oil, although one of the zones produced 1,000 bpd of water, Unocal said in a statement.

Meanwhile, the Sah Cho L-71 wildcat well, spudded Jan. 21, was drilled to 12,050 feet.

Hydrocarbons were encountered at one level, but open-hole testing was unable to establish commercial flow rates. The well has been cased to total depth and suspended.

B-44 was drilled to a depth of 10,053 feet, despite encountering some problems, and suspended a year ago, pending testing this past winter. International Frontier, a 5 percent partner in B-44, said testing of up to six intervals was planned to determine the extent of commercial reserves.

L-71 was drilled on the Betty structure about five miles from the Wilma structure.

International Frontier, which also holds a 5 percent interest in the L-71 well, said initial interpretation of fresh 2-D seismic data suggested Betty is larger than Wilma.

Positive results would be unlocking a “good inventory of undrilled structures to explore and develop in future years,” including the gathering of seismic data on three exploration licenses, the junior partner said.

Working interest owners in B-44 are Northrock 32.5 percent, Husky Oil 29.4775 percent, EOG Resources Canada 26.3975 percent, Pacific Rodera Energy 6.625 percent and International Frontier 5 percent.

The breakdown for the Sah Cho well is: Northrock 32.5 percent, Husky 32.5 percent, EOG 23.375 percent, Pacific Rodera 6.625 percent and International Frontier 5 percent.

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