Whitecap Resources-operated Weyburn Unit. Photo by Brian Zinchuk

If there was ever an indication of how significant the carbon dioxide-enhanced oil recovery project at the Weyburn Unit, you need only look at the Top 10 conventional wells in Saskatchewan for July, as published by BlincSoftware.

That’s because three of the top 10 wells belonged to Whitecap Resources Inc., and are within the Weyburn Unit. And they benefit from the carbon dioxide-enhanced oil recovery scheme. And if you dig deeper, you find that that number – around 30 per cent – is consistent all the way through the top 100 wells.

The carbon dioxide-enhanced oil recovery (CO2-EOR) process takes compressed carbon dioxide from SaskPower’s Boundary Dam Power Station and Beulah, North Dakota’s Great Plains Synfuels Plant and pumps it underground as a supercritical fluid. The carbon dioxide acts as a solvent, and causes the oil to swell from rock. The process involves pumping CO2 for a while, then water, then CO2, in something that’s called a WAG, or water-alternating-gas. The CO2 that comes up with the oil is recaptured and pumped down again for continuing usage. And it’s obviously paying off, given the high performance of those wells. Indeed, 14 of the top 50 conventional wells are in the Weyburn Unit. And 31 of the top 100 conventional wells are in the Weyburn Unit.

Doing so since 2000 has dramatically extended the life and production of the Weyburn Unit, which has now been producing oil for more than 65 years.

Top 10 rundown

Getting back to the top 10, Blinc compiles its numbers from data provided by the Saskatchewan Ministry of Energy and Resources. Much more detailed information can be found at BlincSoftware’s Canadian Petroleum Registry.

Vermillion Energy Inc. once again saw the same well hit No. 1, with their 102/05-09-001-03W2/00 well. It came in at an average of 482 barrels of oil per day (bpd). That is roughly three miles northwest of the Port of Northgate, the US border crossing port on Highway 9. It’s within spitting distance of the US border. And it’s also the same well that topped the charts in March. Except in March, May and June. In March daily production was 541 bpd, and in May, it hit 601 bpd. June was 488 bpd. That also means its output only declined 6 bpd from June to July.

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This well stood out for another reason. It saw 108 boepd in gas, three times the next highest well with associated gas production. For all of the top 100 wells, except for the No. 1 well, the gas cut was 37 boepd or less, with most a lot less.

Three of the top 10 wells were located within close proximity of each other, just north of Maidstone. They were all along Highway 21, and within five miles of the community.

Three of the top 10 conventional wells in Saskatchewan are heavy oil wells, all located just north of Maidstone. The red numerals indicate their approximate location, and position in rank. Saskatchewan Mining and Petroleum GeoAtlas

 

Canadian Natural Resources Limited also retained second place this month at an average of 336 bpd for their 101/16-16-048-23W3/00 well, located 4 miles north of Maidstone on Highway 21. That well was No. 2 in June as well, when it produced 384 bpd, and May, when it had 411 bpd. CNRL also had the No. 6 well, 101/12-22-048-23W3/00, located just a mile north, on the other side of the highway.  It came in at 263 boepd in June. Both of CNRL’s wells in the top 10 were heavy oil producers.

Surge Energy Inc. came in at third with their new 104/02-35-004-06W2/00 well. It produced an average of 273 bpd. It’s three miles southeast of Lampman.

Whitecap had positions 4, 5, 9 and 10. The No. 5 well was the only one of theirs not in the Weyburn Unit. It is located at 101/13-14-006-07W2/00, seven miles east of Benson, in an area that has seen a lot of drilling activity over the last year by a number of players, including the aforementioned Surge.

Baytex Energy Ltd. came in at No. 7, where its well 101/08-04-048-23W3/00 was producing 263 bpd of heavy crude. This was the third and final heavy oil producer in the top 10. That well is just north Maidstone on Highway 21.

Axial Exploration Ltd. had No. 8, with its 101/07-21-001-33W1/00 well producing 262 bpd. This well is straight south of Carnduff, and five miles north of the U.S. border.

For more details, including water production and an interactive visual explorer of the facilities and wells, go to https://registry.schematic.pro/ .

 

Note: in compilation of this data, BlincSoftware refers to conventional as non-SAGD and non-Bitumen wells.

 

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