The company is also preparing for the arrival of the first core drilling rig, which is expected to arrive on site once the seismic program has been completed and will commence drilling shortly thereafter. Meanwhile, contractors at the site have been involved in road building to provide access to new camp sites and drilling areas.
"Putting together a major drilling program is much like mobilizing an army; there are a lot of moving parts to coordinate. The process is further complicated by the fact that much of what we do in our permit area is dependent on cold weather," said Christopher H. Hopkins, President & Chief Executive Officer of CanWest Petroleum. The winter drilling season in northwestern Saskatchewan is typically from November to April, but is dependent on cold weather.
"We are targeting to be fully operational by the end of January," said Hopkins. "To meet that target, we will phase in the arrival of equipment, facilities and personnel through the fall, with the hope that the weather cooperates and, at the same time, we will be able to ramp up our exploration activities."
Eight drilling rigs have been contracted for the winter 2006/07 drilling program, which plans up to 250 holes, including about 100 in the original discovery area and up to another 150 to identify resource leads over a larger area. Ideally, all eight rigs could be at work by mid January. One drilling rig was used for the winter 2005/06 program; it began drilling near the end of December 2005 and finished in April 2006.
The 26-person camp used last year has been refurbished and is operational. To support the accelerated drilling program, a new 96-person camp is being built and is expected to be installed in November. A third camp, providing accommodation for 29 people, is scheduled to arrive in January 2007.
CanWest Petroleum is engaged in a variety of projects in the oil and gas industry in Western Canada with an emphasis on oil sands and oil shale. Its lead project is an oil sands exploration program being conducted in Saskatchewan by its subsidiary, Oilsands Quest Inc. At the upcoming annual meeting, CanWest Petroleum will seek shareholder approval to change its name to Oilsands Quest Inc. to better reflect its business focus.
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