UTS Fires Up Heavy Drilling Program in Firebag Oil Sands Leases
UTS has announced new drilling results from Leases 421, 022 and 023 (the "Lease 421 Area") located east of the Firebag River in northeastern Alberta. These leases are owned jointly with Teck Cominco on a 50:50 basis. Eight core holes have been drilled this winter, of which six have encountered oil sands within the McMurray Formation. This is the second year of drilling in Lease 421 Area for UTS and Teck, having previously encountered high grade oil sands during the 2008 drilling program.
"We continue to receive very encouraging results from this area," said William Roach, President and Chief Executive Officer. "We have now drilled a total of 13 core holes over the last two years and encountered high grade oil sands in 11 of these, with oil sands thickness estimates of between 10 meters and 25 meters, and overburden thicknesses ranging from 23 meters to 68 meters. We are continuing our delineation program in this area and anticipate drilling approximately 55 core holes in total during the first quarter of 2009. Upon completion of this drilling program, we expect to have sufficient data to determine if the potential exists for a fourth UTS oil sands project, with the
results of these analyses available by year end. Assets such as our Firebag oil sands leases provide tremendous growth opportunities as well as future funding flexibility for UTS."
"Although it is early days in the 2009 drilling program, the results to date (the majority being from core holes drilled close to each of the Lease 421 lease boundaries) are indicative of a laterally extensive resource and the potential for another significant oil sands discovery," said Dr. Roach. "It is also noteworthy that this discovery is directly northeast of the Total operated Northern Lights Project leases, which if combined may render a sufficient resource base for a stand-alone development."
UTS is focused on the creation of shareholder value through exploration, development and production of hydrocarbon resources, mainly mineable oil sands deposits from the Athabasca Oil Sands Area in northeastern Alberta. UTS was instrumental in re-establishing the Fort Hills Oil Sands Project and is the principal founder of the Fort Hills Energy Limited Partnership. UTS holds a 20 per cent working interest in the Fort Hills Project, a mature mining project, located north of Fort McMurray.
Beyond the Fort Hills Project, UTS has identified additional development opportunities through a successful and continuing lease acquisition and exploration program. UTS has a 50% working interest in each of the Frontier and Equinox Projects. The Frontier Project is an oil sands mining project associated with the development of that portion of the Athabasca Oil Sands Area identified by Alberta Oil Sands Lease Nos. 311, 468, 470, 477, 610 and 840 and is located in northeastern Alberta approximately 100 kilometers north of Fort McMurray and 500 kilometres northeast of Edmonton.
The Equinox Project is an oil sands project related to the development of Alberta Oil Sands Lease No. 14 located in northeastern Alberta. The Equinox Project bisects the Pierre River Project, approximately 90 kilometers north of Fort McMurray and 500 kilometers northeast of Edmonton.
Further, UTS holds a 50 per cent working interest in an additional 97,024 hectares (242,560 acres) of prospective oil sands leases. This includes the Lease 421 Area with 13,312 hectares (33,280 acres) and located northeast of Total E&P Canada Ltd.'s Northern Lights Project and directly north of lands owned by Imperial Oil Limited.
By the end of this year's winter drilling program, the company expects to have a total of 60 core holes drilled in the Firebag Area, enough to confirm the potential for a major new discovery.
UTS is committed to responsible resource development by conducting its business in a manner that reduces environmental effects, protects workers' and communities' health and safety and recognizes stakeholder interests.
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