Junior explorer Northern Petroleum reported Friday that it was "sufficiently confident" to extend a proof of concept program at its leases in northern Alberta, Canada, to include a possible side-track well and a new well alongside re-entry wells it plans there. The firm is looking to begin drilling in northern Alberta before the end of the year.
Northern said that since acquiring its acreage in the first quarter of this year, it has purchased and interpreted around seven square miles of 3D seismic data and that its analysis has increased the number, and type, of drilling opportunities available on the land.
These opportunities include the identification of undrilled reef structures as well as reefs that may benefit from drilling up-structure from the previous entry point.
Northern added that the company is still awaiting the formal assignment of the existing wellbores from previous operators to allow access to the well re-entry candidates, but that the drilling of a new well and a side-track will not be affected by this.
The firm's rig is now expected on location in November to start the testing program.
Northern CEO Keith Bush commented in a company statement:
"While the team is keen to get a rig on site and test the play, this change in approach to the proof of concept phase will allow us to evaluate the different development options from the start. This in turn should lead to a more economically efficient development."
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