Chevron on line
Pipeline tie-in project complete, production increasing

Derek Neary
Northern News Services

Fort Liard (May 08/00) - Natural gas began flowing at Chevron's K-29 well site near Fort Liard last Saturday.

And Chevron Canada Resources pipeline tie-in project, located about 29 kilometres northwest of Liard, is now complete, said Charlie Stewart, Chevron's manager of external affairs.

The initial rate of production was 35 million cubic feet per day, but it is expected to reach its planned rate of 75 million cubic feet per day by early this week, according to Stewart.

"The volume of gas produced from that well daily probably places it in the top three or four wells drilled in western Canada," he said, adding that more than 74,000 wells have been drilled in western Canada since 1978. The K-29 well is expected to have a 10-year life expectancy with reserves estimated at 400 to 600 billion cubic feet of raw natural gas.

The K-29 pipeline ties into Westcoast's existing pipeline, which runs to a processing plant in Fort Nelson, B.C.

Ranger Oil's P-66 well, which was tied into the same pipeline as part of this project, was expected to be online as of the weekend, said Gordon McLeod, land manager for Ranger.

He added that the production volume and life expectancy of the P-66 well have not yet been publicly disclosed.

The Acho Dene Koe will have two full-time operator positions with each Chevron and Ranger Oil. They have made the same arrangement with Paramount Resources to ensure a total of six long-term jobs, according to Shane Parrish, general manager of the Acho Dene Koe's ADK Holdings Ltd.

"That's a lot for us," he said, adding that although the spring season has resulted in a slower period, Beaver Enterprises will remain involved in pipeline tie-in work for Chevron's M-25 well.

"It's been good. We're happy."

Heli-seismic work will be carried out beginning in May as well, he noted.

Jim Simpson, president of Chevron Canada Resources, characterized the relationship between Chevron and the Acho Dene Koe as "very productive and beneficial.

"Fort Liard competitively positioned its businesses to take advantage of economic opportunities and demonstrated operational excellence in meeting the project's needs," Simpson stated in a press release.

Stewart said preparations for a tie-in project for M-25, another massive Chevron find, are expected to begin by June. Production from that well, also planned to reach 75 million cubic feet per day, is expected to begin during the fourth quarter of the year, he said.

The Mackenzie Valley Environmental Impact Review Board granted its approval of the M-25 project last year. A land-use permit, a water permit and the National Energy Board's approval have yet to be obtained, he said.

Although Chevron currently has no further natural gas exploration taking place, Stewart said a regional geophysical survey (seismic work) of northern B.C., the Yukon, and the "Fort Liard extension" is being conducted.

"What we're doing is just analyzing what might lie beyond Fort Liard. We've got no concrete plans for a well," he said.