For Crescent Point Energy, recognized as one of the most innovative players in Bakken-type plays, one of the keys to unlocking the value of its Canadian resource assets lies in a combination of waterflooding and unitization.
The mid-range producer is now eagerly awaiting a decision by the Saskatchewan government to allow that province’s first “unitization” in 20 years, opening the door for multiple owners in pools to create single operating units, requiring each to contribute to capital and operating costs, while sharing in the profits based on their stakes.
Neil Smith, chief operating officer, said Crescent Point is optimistic that government approval will occur within the next six months for the first unit and will be followed by three more over the next two years.
Crescent Point is also expanding its waterflood programs in the Bakken, Shaunavon and Viking plays of Western Canada.
Waterflooding, one of the enhanced oil recovery techniques, is deemed to function best over an entire pool rather than on an individual well basis, although the owners must reach a unitization agreement before a project can proceed.
After a lapse of many years, the sudden surge of light oil drilling has revived the prospect of unitizations, driven by a Petroleum Technology Alliance Canada study estimating that improved water management could boost Western Canada’s oil reserves by 1 billion barrels.
Already yielding results
Crescent Point said its waterflood trials are already yielding positive results. In southeastern Saskatchewan and Manitoba the company converted five producing Viewfield Bakken wells to water injection, raising the total to 46 wells and reported that production results are surpassing its expectations.
Company President Scott Saxberg forecast that 40,000 barrels per day of Crescent Point’s anticipated 100,000 bpd in 2013 will be affected by waterflooding.
“There is easily 25,000 bpd of long-term waterfloods that we have within our company already from legacy assets,” he told a conference call. “On the Bakken side it is probably going to push close to 10,000 bpd and on the Shaunavon side probably 5,000 bpd.”
The company reported that water is now being injected into 30 converted wells in both the Lower and Upper Shaunavon unconventional zones and Crescent Point has applied to the Saskatchewan government to establish a unit in the Lower Shaunavon for implementing a unit-wide water injection scheme.
Smith said the company has its eye on larger-scale unitization based on technical decisions last year to use two to four injectors that have produced “good early results in the waterflood in the Viking ... and really strong results in the Shaunavon as we’ve added more injectors.” Smith said the application has worked with multi-stage fracturing in the Bakken and the Shaunavon following a corporate decision to “push it across all of our plays.”
In the Saskatchewan Bakken, Crescent Point has re-entered wells that were originally completed with eight-stage and 16-stage cemented liners and increased them to 25-stage and 30-stage completions.
The results have allowed the company to identify 90 wells in the play as candidates for the process.
Based on the initial success, Crescent Point plans to drill six more two-mile horizontal wells this year, on top of the four already completed, and is confident they can be drilled for about half the cost of similar wells drilled across the border in North Dakota.
Source: Petroleum News Bakken