Statoil has announced the appointment of Lars Christian Bacher as president of its Canadian operations. Mr. Bacher will oversee the development of the company's oil sands operations in Alberta's Athabasca region, and exploration and production off the coast of Newfoundland and Labrador.
Mr. Bacher brings extensive international oil and gas experience to his role, having previously led the restructuring and integration of Statoil's operations on the Norwegian continental shelf. He also has held several management positions at the Norne and Statfjord fields in the North Sea and was vice president of the company's Gullfaks operations.
"It is an exciting time to be leading Statoil's Canadian operations," Mr. Bacher said. "In addition to our offshore interests, the oil sands represent a key part of Statoil's global strategy, and we are committed to developing them in a manner that balances social, economic and environmental concerns."
Statoil's oil sands leases, which include Leismer, Corner, Hangingstone and Thornbury, are located 150 km south of Fort McMurray and contain approximately two billion barrels of recoverable oil. The first phase, the Leismer Demonstration Project, is a steam-assisted gravity drainage (SAGD) facility with first steam scheduled for late 2010. The company plans to use the Leismer field to test and pilot new technologies such as the steam-solvent co-injection process (SOLVE) in partnership with the Regina-based Petroleum Technology Research Centre. The SOLVE project aims to reduce water usage and carbon dioxide emissions over SAGD.
"We plan to use Leismer as a learning platform for technology improvements which we will utilize in future phases of development," Mr. Bacher said.
In addition to its oil sands assets, Statoil has ownership interests in several exploration, development and production licenses, offshore Newfoundland and Labrador. The company is a partner in the Hibernia and Terra Nova fields as well as the planned Hebron and Hibernia South Extension fields. Last spring, Statoil announced a discovery in the Flemish Pass on its Mizzen prospect, in which it has a 65 per cent working interest. The company recently applied for a Significant Discovery License (SDL) for that well.
"Our goal is to become a producing operator in offshore Canada," explained Mr. Bacher. "We see great potential along the east coast of Canada and we look forward to leveraging Statoil's offshore experience here."
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