Strata Oil & Gas Inc. announced today results from its study to further assess the primary heavy oil production potential of its 100%-owned Cadotte West land block in the Peace River oil sands region of Alberta.
The study is part of the evaluation of our Cadotte West land for the development of heavy-oil recovery through Cold Production methods. Cold Production is the use of conventional oil production methods rather than much more complex and costly integrated secondary recovery techniques. Several developers in the region have successfully demonstrated Cold Production on their leases, including operators such as Murphy Oil, PennWest Exploration, Royal Dutch Shell and Baytex Energy. In all cases, production is from the Bluesky Formation which is one of the oil-bearing units that is widely distributed on our Cadotte lands.
One of the leading operators, Baytex Energy, is successfully using primary recovery Cold Production for the development of its Reno Field. The total thickness of the Bluesky Formation at Reno ranges from 20m to 25m and that sequence includes two or three sand beds of about 5m thickness each separated by shale units that prevent communication between each sand bed. Any one of these sand beds may be the oil production units from one place to the next and at Reno the main production one that has been developed so far is the lower sand. This is partly because that bed is the cleanest and thickest but it also has the fluid properties that allow the oil to flow unaided.
Our study focused on the different physical properties and technical aspects related to the identification of pools and fields on our lands which may be analogues to the Reno field.
Although the available drilling data at Cadotte West is limited, drilling to the southwest of our lease block indicates that the Bluesky Formation has important similarities to that at Reno.
Specifically the data indicates:
-- Like at Reno, the Bluesky Formation is 20m to 25m thick, which is the target thickness for potential drill sites.
-- Also similar to Reno, there are two or three sand beds of 5m or more thickness each separated by shale units, with the lowest one being the cleanest.
-- The shale beds are of thickness similar to those within the Reno field.
Also, interpretation of the geological structure on Strata's Cadotte West lands suggests that there may be structural traps that have the potential to be suitable for the accumulation of oil at saturation levels associated with commercial development. However, it remains to be confirmed by drill-testing whether oil in the Bluesky Formation at Cadotte West has the fluid properties that permit the use of Cold Production methods.
In addition, the results of the seismic data analysis confirmed the presence and nature of a geological structure where thicker Bluesky to the southwest meets thinner Bluesky to the northeast. The data confirmed that the change from thin to thick occurs quite abruptly, confirming the presence of the anticipated geological structure on our Cadotte West lands and showing the location where this occurs, and defined the nature of the structure at a level that is sufficient to potentially identify prospects and plays in the Bluesky formation on our lease block.
The seismic study not only achieved our objectives, but also resulted in important additional technical discoveries that had not been anticipated. Overall, the study showed that Reno-type characteristics, possibly suitable for the application of Cold Production, may be located in Strata Oil's Cadotte West lands. Our technical team is continuing to evaluate the technical data in order to submit recommendations to the board of directors, and we will be releasing further information relating to this in the coming month.