One of the energy companies planning a liquefied natural gas terminal at Kitimat announced Thursday “an outstanding” new shale gas discovery, the best in North America, in British Columbia’s remote and largely unexplored Liard Basin.
The find by Apache Corp., one of three partners in the $4.5-billion Kitimat LNG terminal and pipeline proposal, is estimated to contain enough gas in itself to justify doubling the size of the Kitimat terminal. The company is calling it the best and highest quality shale gas reservoir in North America and says its wells are the most prolific in the world, based on the volume of gas three test wells are producing.
Based on the production from those wells, Apache announced it has 48 trillion cubic feet of marketable gas within its Liard Basin properties. By way of comparison, all companies active in the Horn River Basin, one of three other major shale gas basins in B.C., have marketable gas of 78 trillion cubic feet, giving one company alone a natural gas find that is two-thirds the size of the entire Horn Basin.
One well alone produced 21 million cubic feet of gas a day over a 30-day test period.
“This is enormous,” said Gordon Currie, senior oil and gas analyst at Salman Partners. “Those are big, big numbers.”
Based on Apache’s results alone, the Liard should provide B.C. with enough gas to export “for many, many years to come,” Currie said.
Bill Mintz, director of public affairs at Apache, said the Liard discovery provides the company with enough gas to meet the needs of any future expansion at its proposed LNG terminal. Apache and its partners plan a five-million-tonne-a-year LNG plant which, if supply and demand warrant it, could be doubled to 10 million tonnes a year. The Liard alone could provide that additional five million tonnes of LNG.
Mintz said gas from the Liard wells is already being sold through a pipeline connecting them to Fort Nelson. The Liard find is not only large, but the Apache test wells are producing more gas from fewer hydraulic fractures, six per well as opposed to 20 in the nearby Horn River Basin.
One of the Apache wells, D-34-K, “is one of the best shale wells we have seen in any play. Our analysis indicates that the formation characteristics are remarkably consistent across this large basin,” Apache president Steven Farris said in making the announcement at the company’s annual investors day in Houston, Texas.
A slide presentation on the find says the drilling in the Liard is “believed to be the most prolific shale gas resource test in the world.”
Full Story, Vancouver Sun: Apache calls new discovery in northeastern BC “best shale gas reservoir in North America.”