Kerrbert will be first commercial toe to heel air injection project.
CALGARY — Petrobank Energy and Resources Ltd. is focusing $23 million of capital investment for 2013 on achieving commercial THAI production rates at its Kerrobert project, increasing its land base for future THAI projects and maintaining financial flexibility as an independent company.
Toe to heel air injection (THAI) combines a vertical air injection well with a horizontal production well. Oil in the reservoir is ignited, which creates a vertical wall of fire moving from the toe to heel that burns heavier oil components and upgrades some of the heavy bitumen into lighter oil before it is even extracted. This process eliminates the need for the energy needed to generate steam to soften the bitumen, and it uses less water.
Kerrobert will be Petrobank’s first THAI commercial project.
The company said total capital and operating expenditures for all projects will be less than $50 million. It will complete one of the vertical wells for cold production by the end of 2012.
Its 2013 capital plans include the drilling of 12 vertical wells for stratigraphic evaluation and potential cold heavy oil production.
Petrobank began cold production at its Dawson project in the Peace River area of northwest Alberta and expects to initiate cold production at its second horizontal well before the end of the year. The company said the wells will produce for a period of time to pre-condition the reservoir prior to start-up of the THAI demonstration project.
Projects will be funded from $100 million the company expects to have on hand and sales revenue.
Petrobank’s companies include Petrobank, an energy developer; Whitesands, the operating company; Archon, a technology developer; and Petrobakken, an oil and gas production company.