Koch Oil Sands Operating ULC has applied for a new primary recovery scheme in the southwest corner of the Athabasca deposit in the emerging area known as Marten Hills.

The company is seeking to develop the lower Clearwater Formation using cold heavy oil production with multi-leg horizontal wells. The application area (sections 01-075-26W4, 12-075-26W4 and 3-075-26W4) is bordered by lands leased by Canadian Natural Resources Limited and Deltastream Energy Corp.

Land sale activity in the Marten Hills region has increased in recent months, contributing to the highest oilsands sale revenue since 2011 in January 2018 (DOB, Jan. 8, 2018).

Without any existing horizontal wells in the application area, Koch representative VZFOX Canada – Engineering said analog wells were used to estimate future production. The application calls for a maximum of nine horizontal wells per quarter section, with no minimum inter-well distance between horizontal and vertical/slant wells.

Thermal recovery techniques are technically difficult to implement and currently uneconomic in the area, VZFOX said.

Horizontal drilling is planned for 2018/2019. It is expected that the wells should produce at an economically acceptable rate ranging from 3 to 15 years.