Chevron Canada Resources will step up its Arctic activities by conducting seismic surveys and drilling as many as five exploratory gas wells in the next two winters.
A company spokesman said the program underscores the company’s effort to build more gas reserves in the Mackenzie Delta and turn the region into a “long-term business” to help meet North American demand.
A partnership of Chevron Canada and BP Canada Energy started drilling the Olivier 2H-01 exploratory well on Dec. 19 and released the rig on April 8 at a depth of about 9,760 feet. No results have been released.
The two companies then spudded the Olivier 3H-01 exploratory well on April 9, targeting a depth of about 10,300 feet.
The two wells are located about 60 miles northwest of Inuvik, Northwest Territories, on an exploration license acquired in 2004 for work commitments of C$62 million.
Each well carried a price tag of about C$30 million.
Chevron Canada also started 3-D seismic work in December covering a total of about 165 square miles.
While the exploration work continues, Chevron Canada is one of the companies in the Mackenzie Explorers Group seeking assurances from the Mackenzie Gas Project consortium that they will be able to commercialize future gas finds.
The company has made it public that is not in a position to make long-term commitments to a pipeline when nominating 100 million cubic feet per day of production at a toll cost of C$1.50 per thousand cubic feet could cost upwards of C$1 billion.
One of the frontrunners during Canada’s Arctic drilling boom in he 1970s and 1980s, Chevron Canada has also been weighing a return to the Beaufort Sea, where Devon Canada is unrolling its own plan for a four-well program over the next four winters.
Company President Alex Archila said Chevron Canada has “significant” Beaufort reserves — including several hundred million barrels of oil — that will be developed when the infrastructure is in place.
He said a move to the offshore is a natural step for companies already committed to the onshore. The only question is “when?”