Connacher Ramps Up, Launches in Times of 'Turmoil'
Connacher Oil and Gas Limited (CLL-TSX) announces today that it continues to hit and exceed milestones for its projects this winter. The current financial market turmoil is not affecting Connacher's progress or business activities.
At Great Divide, Connacher's SAGD project continues to meet and exceed milestones on its ramp up to 10,000 barrels per day of bitumen. For the month of January 2008, the company is anticipating sales of over 40,000 barrels of raw bitumen, which are approximately double the originally anticipated volumes for the month. Production of raw bitumen has recently exceeded 2,000 barrels per day.
Seven well pairs have now been "flipped over" to SAGD production and consistent with the ramp up process, are at various stages of contribution to total volumes as individual wells also undergo a ramp up process. Connacher's operating staff has been handling the increased oil treating loads in an effective manner. Well pairs are converted from circulation phase to SAGD production in a sequential disciplined manner, as reservoir temperature and pressure constraints are met. The other components of the surface facilities continue to perform very well, particularly the produced water treating system, utilizing evaporator technology and the boiler systems. As the bitumen throughput continues to ramp up to full capacity and all the limits of the process are maximized, there will be additional learning. However, the performance to date is indicative of good design and the competence of the Great Divide operating staff.
The produced raw bitumen is blended with diluent and is trucked and sold into various markets. The logistics of this trucking and marketing operation have also gone very well this month. As previously indicated, Connacher anticipates that Pod One production will ramp up to 10,000 barrels per day of bitumen from all 15 well pairs later in 2008.
Operations on Connacher's 120 well core hole, seismic delineation and 2008 exploration program for 2008 is advancing favorably. Results of the program will be evaluated and interpreted over the next two quarters. On the conventional side of the business the company has now drilled and cased five out of five gas wells in the Randall area of its Marten Creek gas production area in northern Alberta. The six million cubic feet per day Randall gas plant, gathering system and sales line is currently under construction and is targeted for completion at the end of first quarter 2008. The Randall gas discoveries of last winter and the new Randall gas wells will be tied in to this new plant.
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