• EnCana is proposing to develop its first cyclic steam stimulation (CSS) pilot project with plans to file an application with the ERCB before the end of December 2008. The pilot project would be located in the Clearwater formation in the Cold Lake oilsands near EnCana's existing Foster Creek development. Phase I of the pilot would include 12 wells, with production expected to be 1,000 bpd of bitumen. Results from the first six to eight months should demonstrate whether the pilot will be successful. The development plan includes 50 wells with production of 5,000 bpd of bitumen over a lifetime. The CSS project would be integrated into the Foster Creek approval scheme. EnCana will also seek approval to expand its Foster Creek development area by 13.5 sections (4,500 hectares) to accommodate the pilot project.
  • Deep Well Oil & Gas has received approval from the ERCB to drill six wells as part of the Sawn Lake oil sands development. Deep Well has a 100% working interest in six contiguous sections of a petroleum and natural gas licence, an 80% working interest in 51 contiguous sections of oil sands development leases, a 40% working interest in an additional 12 sections of oil sands development leases and an 80% working interest in 6.5 sections of oil sands permits in the Sawn Lake heavy oil area in Alberta. The permits and leases cover 47,759 acres.
  • The NOVA Gas Transmission's North Central Corridor project has been approved by the Alberta Utilities Commission. This $923 million project will transport natural gas from Northwestern Alberta to Northeastern Alberta to meet the growing oilsands demand. Work on the North Star section will begin this quarter and work on the Red Earth section, the second phase, will occur in winter of 2009/2010. The in-service target date of the 1.5 bcf per day pipeline is April 1, 2010.
  • AOSC plans to drill 20 to 30 appraisal wells in the area next winter, focusing on the Devonian Grosmont and Nisku formation targets. The ERCB estimates that these formations hold up to 415 billion bbl of bitumen. Timing of the pilot project will be determined after the winter appraisal drilling. AOSC is now the biggest leaseholder in the Athabasca region with a net working interest of over 1.3 million acres.
  • Nexen and OPTI have announced that they delay its decision to twin the Long Lake project until at least next year. Concerns over current market conditions were cited for the reason to delay the decision.
  • Partners of the Fort Hills oil sands project have stated that they are contemplating only to make an initial investment decision with respect to the mining and extraction portion of the project and deferring the decision for the construction of an upgrading refinery until the new year. This decision is based on several factors including costs, current commodity, equity and credit market conditions.
  • CNRL has decided to cut its 2009 capital spending budget by 47% including reducing its estimated 2008 capital program for its Horizon oilsands project by $3.4 billion. CNRL stated that the budget will allow it to address the challenges of a lower and more volatile commodity price environment.
  • Suncor Energy announced that it will slow near-term spending on its $20.6 billion expansion, called Voyageur, delaying completion of its own new upgrader by a year. It also cut its 2009 budget by a third. The company said this will reduce the risk on a go-forward basis and increase flexibility. Suncor’s 2009 plan maintains spending and construction timelines for the third and fourth stages of the company’s Firebag in-situ operations.

EnCana has revised its original schedule for a corporate reorganization to split into two companies - one focused on shale gas plays in North America and a separate integrated oil sands company. Market concerns and uncertainty were cited as the reason for the change. EnCana has stated that it will move ahead with the split at the appropriate time.