24 November 2009

Husky updates White Rose oil information information

Husky Energy announced on Monday an update to its drilling program related to the White Rose production project.

According to Husky North Amethyst E-17 (inside the area of production license 1007) drilled in 2008 has shown an estimated 60 million barrels of petroleum in place.  A further assessment of results from exploration well E-09 (within the area of production license 1006) the discovery “contains an estimate of discovered PIIP  [petroleum initially in place0 of 100 to 250 million barrels (best estimate of 170 million barrels) of light crude oil.”

That isn’t what the cbc.ca/nl online story says, by the way.

In any event, you can see both wells marked on this close-up of a map produced by the offshore regulatory board.

map - Husky announcement 23 nov 09 

Now it is interesting to note that the legend for this map shows something rather odd when you match it up with the news release.

legend According to the legend – and if your humble e-scribbler is interpreting this correctly - North Amethyst E-17 is marked as an abandoned well using a symbol that appears to represent a dry hole. 

E-09 is marked as an abandoned well with oil and gas showing.

Plus, these two wells appear to be part of different structures:  North Amethyst and Hibernia Formation.

That’s something for your humble e-scribbler to follow up on with the offshore board for clarification. 

If you look at the release again, though, it doesn’t actually appear to add any new information to what has been announced previously. 

In early 2008, North Amethyst was said to hold about 70 million barrels of proven, probably and possible reserves.  That was based on delineation from 2006.

Now that isn’t the specific result from well E-17;  that was the result for the entire North Amethyst structure that is part of the satellite development. E-17 is actually quite far north of the glory hole for North Amethyst

This announcement on November 23 appears to deal with the structure E-09 explored  - if you read the release a certain way - back in the 1980s.  This announcement on Monday just reassesses old data.

So does the announcement on 23 November show  more oil or is it the same oil as before just described differently?  Good question.

It might be instructive to look at the fine print at the bottom of the release:

Discovered petroleum initially-in-place is that quantity of petroleum that is estimated, as of a given date, to be contained in known accumulations prior to production. The recoverable portion of discovered petroleum initially-in-place includes production, reserves and contingent resources; the remainder is unrecoverable. A recovery project cannot be defined for these volumes of discovered petroleum initially-in-place at this time. There is no certainty that it will be commercially viable to produce any portion of the resources.

Now this doesn’t mean the White Rose project and the extensions are not occurring.  Rather, there might just be some confusion in media reports about what this announcement means.