May 17, 2012- Athabasca Oil Corp is the new name for Athabasca Oil Sands Corp. Last week the name change reflected the company’s new focus towards tight oil. Alberta could be on the verge of being the next hot spot in North America for tight oil.
After only 24 months of moving into Alberta tight oil plays, the former oil sands has been very successful in unlocking oil from sandstone and shale formations and over 10,000 barrels per day are expected to be produced before the end of 2012.
Athabasca CEO and president, Sveinung Svarte said there is huge potential for tight oil in Alberta, where the geological makeup is similar to prolific tight oil plays like Texas’ Eagle Ford and North Dakota’s Bakken.
The Nordegg, Montney and Duvernay will probably be three of the most active areas of development in all of Canada, said Svarte at the annual meeting of the company in Calgary. Companies like Encana Corp., Devon Energy Corp., Talisman Energy Inc. and Athabasca are spending more in tight oil with some experts saying it is changing the global oil market’s dynamics.
Athabasca’s CEO said that the move into tight oil has returned well beyond the company’s expectations, but Svarte said he does not see new play type in competition with oil sands. That he says is because a lot is produced quickly in tight oil, but then declines are rapid. Oil sands take years to getting running up to speed and then will produce for up to 50 years.
Svarte said the name change was because the name no longer reflected the business they were in and that oil sands today is just a huge crater on someone’s TV screen.