December 15, 2008

Bakken oil, Oilsands, Deepwater Oil update

Bakken Oil North Dakota Update
In October, 2008 North Dakota had an average of 203785 barrels of oil per day, with most of that from the Bakken Oil Formation.

In spite of reduced oil prices drilling is continuing in 2009 in North Dakota but drilling budgets will be down about 30%

Better and Cheaper Oilsands CAPRI, THAI Projects Go Ahead
Petrobank has its approvals in Alberta (Whitesands, May River Project) to proceed with testing of its new oil recovery method called Capri.

The project will be constructed in phases with the first module (Phase-1) having the capacity to produce 10,000 to 15,000 bbl/d of partially upgraded bitumen. Expansion will continue in stages with the production capacity ultimately reaching 100,000 bbl/d.





Alberta Oilsands for 2009

Alberta oilsand spending is projected to drop 25% from $20 billion to 16 billion in 2009

Total Canada withdrew a regulatory application for the 115,000-barrel-a-day Northern Lights project. Petro-Canada last month postponed a decision on the $25-billion Fort Hills mine for at least a year while it reviews cost estimates. Earlier this fall, Shell Canada withdrew regulatory applications for a 100,000 barrel a day in-situ project near Peace River, in addition to delaying a 100,000 barrel a day expansion of the Athabasca Oil Sands Project. Suncor Energy delayed by at least a year the $20.6-billion Voyageur expansion.

Stringham, VP of the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers (CAPP), said the current round of expansions has merely involved delays, but the cancellation of new projects could result in a five-year production lag between 2012 and 2017 on the road to three million barrels a day.

Many producers are waiting to see if costs fall enough to make those delayed projects economic again.

"They hope they can bring those costs down," said CAPP's Stringham. "That's why they're buying some time to do that. It's money well spent in deferring it out."

Like crude prices, the costs for materials such as steel have fallen by about two-thirds since reaching their peaks. But Justin Bouchard, a research analyst with Raymond James in Calgary, said it remains to be seen if costs for other items like labour will come down enough to make projects like Fort Hills viable again.

"We fully expect costs to come in lower, but the big question is how much lower? Our concern is that labour and contractor rates may be stickier in the near term than expected."


Note: The THAI and CAPRI oil recovery methods could reduce the cost of oilsand projects.

Deepwater Oil and other Megaprojects
From Chevron's Oct 31, 2008 conference call:

Let’s start in the Gulf of Mexico deepwater with our Tahiti project. The project is progressing on schedule. The spar hole was installed during the first quarter and the topside modules during the third quarter of this year.

The facility sustained minor damage during hurricane Ike and will be repaired during ongoing hookup and commissioning activities. However, this will not delay the projects and we still anticipate first oil by the third quarter of 2009.

In Brazil, at the Frade field construction of the FPSO is 85% complete with a sail-away from Dubai expected in late December. First oil is expected during the second quarter of 2009.

In Angola, the Tombua Landana project remains on schedule, to meet first oil during the second half of 2009. The hurricanes in the Gulf of Mexico, did not significantly impact the schedule for sail-away of the various compliant pile tower components.

The Large Scale Steam Pilot in the Partitioned Neutral Zone also remains on schedule. If this pilot is successful, it will lead to a full-field development at Wafra. First steam injection is expected during early 2009.

Finally, I would like to provide a summary of other key 2008 upstream highlights. Please turn to slide 20. For September 10, we announced the extension and amendment of the Partitioned Neutral Zone operating agreement with the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. This agreement extends the existing arrangement for 30 years through 2039.

Chevron's Tahiti gulf project is expected to produce 125,000 barrels of oil per day (bopd).

Shenzi 85,000 bopd by BHP Billiton is another US oil project for 2009

FURTHER READING
Other oil megaprojects at wikipedia

Previous look in mid-2008 at new oil production.

Alberta oilsand production is still projected to reach 2 million bopd by 2010-2011 from current 1.3 million bopd.

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