An EnCana-led partnership has given the strongest hint yet that exploration drilling on the Mackenzie Delta over the past two winters may have hit pay dirt.
Along with Anadarko Canada and ConocoPhillips Canada, EnCana has applied to Canada’s National Energy Board to declare the Umiak N-05 and N-16 wells as a significant discovery.
If the board agrees it will open the way to extend Exploration License 384 beyond its term for the area where the discovery was made.
The application is based on flow testing and other factors that point to a hydrocarbon accumulation that might have commercial potential.
A spokeswoman for EnCana told Petroleum News that the partners hope for a board ruling in April which will determine their next steps.
For now, no further drilling plans have been made, she said.
N-16 was drilled to a depth of 10,200 feet in the 2003-04 winter and encountered hydrocarbons that were described by EnCana as “encouraging.”
EnCana has a 37.5 percent interest in N-16, with Anadarko holding 37.5 percent and ConocoPhillips 25 percent.
First pure exploration wellIt was the first pure exploration well by EnCana in the Mackenzie Delta region and is seen by the independent as part of its strategy to build long-term reserves.
The nearby N-05 was drilled last winter, targeting a depth of 11,900 feet according to National Energy Board statistics.
The two wells are about 47 miles north if Inuvik, Northwest Territories.
Anadarko said the partnership has begun reprocessing three-dimensional seismic data for development planning and to mature nearby exploration prospects.
ConocoPhillips is already one of four owners of the three anchor gas fields that underpin the Mackenzie Gas Project.
Following its takeover of Gulf Canada Resources, it gained 75 percent of the Parsons Lake find, estimated at 1.8 trillion cubic feet, with ExxonMobil Canada holding the remaining 25 percent.
Anadarko became part of the Umiak play by acquiring a working interest from Alberta Energy Co. (one of the two founding companies of EnCana) in 2000.