Athabasca Oil Sands Corp. ("AOSC") has acquired a 50% interest and operatorship in a joint venture with an undisclosed third party. The joint venture lands comprise more than 750,000 acres and are located on-trend with the lands of Royal Dutch Shell's fully owned subsidiary Sure Northern Energy Ltd. in the western part of the Athabasca region of Alberta.
AOSC is planning to drill between 20 and 30 appraisal wells in the area during the coming winter. The principal geological targets are the Devonian Grosmont and Nisku Formations with the Cretaceous Bluesky, Grand Rapids and Viking Formations as secondary targets. The Energy Resources Conservation Board (ERCB) of Alberta estimates that the Grosmont and Nisku Formations in the Athabasca region hold up to 415 billion barrels of bitumen originally in place.
As a result of this acquisition, AOSC is now the largest lease holder in the Athabasca region with a net working interest of more that 1.3 million acres. AOSC operates more than 1.7 million acres. Any recoverable resources from the joint venture area resulting from the upcoming winter drilling campaign will be in addition to AOSC's current 7.0 billion barrels (most likely case) and 11.0 billion barrels (high case) contingent recoverable resources as provided by recent independent resource evaluations.
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