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April 09, 2010

Petrobank Group CEO Talks Game Changing THAI Oil Recovery Process and How Not Looking at New Technology is the Bigger Risk



CTV has an interview with John Wright, CEO of the Petrobank Group of companies His perspective of technology and categorizing risk and how to plan for the future are things that I agree with.

Petrobank is working on toe-to-heel air injection (THAI), a process using underground combustion to achieved higher heavy-oil recovery rates with a lower environmental footprint. But Petrobank has been dogged by production glitches at its test site that have delayed development. With the technology facing both fans and detractors, Mr. Wright argues that THAI is in the home stretch to commercial use

* People who don't look at new technologies are taking bigger risks
* People do not quantify real risk correctly

The latest drilling economics of the THAI process and Petrobakken are here



* people used to say when I'd go to Colombia, that there is a lot of political risk down there. There is next to no political risk there, but there is social risk. There are bad guys with guns, but they are not part of the political system. They are fighting against it. So if you want political risk, come to Alberta. People have a bizarre perception of what really is risky.
* Our ability to predict all the problems has not been excellent, but we are down to the last few strokes.
* The competition from other technology will be fierce. Statoil, for example, plans to reduce greenhouse gas in its oil sands projects by 40 per cent in 15 years.
* THAI is 10 per cent of our total corporate investment.
* The end game is to see four fully independent separate public companies. The first three are obvious [Petrobank, Petrominerales and PetroBakken] and the fourth is actually the technology company. In five or 10 years, that will, I hope, be a huge part of our business.
* The coolest thing I can show you is at our Conklin project in the oil sands, where you go to the injection wells and just hear the air going in. Then you walk 800 metres to the production wells and you can hear the oil coming out. Air is going in and oil is coming out. It is working, everything else is tweaking.



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