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Canadian Overseas Petroleum confirms estimated 1.5bn+ barrels of oil


With all the oil and gas exploration that has been going on in Canada and the US over the decades a lot of the “ripe fruit” has already been picked and it is fairly unusual to find a good conventional light oil deposit. But Canadian Overseas Petroleum (CSE:XOP / LSE:COPL) has managed to do just that with its Wyoming asset.

The Calgary-based oil exploration and development company this week confirmed the discovery on its large leasehold position in Converse and Natrona counties in Wyoming in four Frontier Fm sands and one Dakota Fm sand. The total estimated reservoir volume of the discovery is between 1.5 billion and 1.9 billion barrels of oil in place, of which between 1.275 billion and 1.64 billion barrels underlay COPL’s land. Dakota Fm, the lowest reservoir sand in the Barron Flats Federal Unit, has already started production and is producing between 100 and 120 barrels a day.

Massive forecast production for COPL

The upside of the Wyoming asset was a surprise even to the company. Arthur Millholland, CEO and President of COPL, said, “This discovery reflects the scale of previous discoveries made over my career and in particular, the North Sea. We estimate the Frontier element of the discovery to cover an area of approximately 51 square miles with the capacity of up to three horizontal wells per square mile each initially producing 1,000 – 3,000 barrels per day.”

The firm has already applied for permits covering four horizontal wells and plans to increase output in phases. The initial cost of development will be covered with internal resources while the firm evaluates full field development plans.

The oil exploration and development company hit gold when it acquired the Wyoming assets as part of its purchase of the US oil firm Atomic Oil & Gas in early 2021. Atomic came with a new infrastructure and direct access to a pipeline, environmentally responsible Barron Flats facilities with no gas flaring, minimal methane emissions, and with electricity sourced from a nearby wind farm.

Barron Flats: production continues to be strong

COPL also confirmed this week that production at its Barron Flats Shannon Unit continues to be strong and beat original expectations of 2,000bbl/d. “This will imminently increase once we have resolved the current high working pressure issue. In addition, our recent simulations have indicted modifications to our injection gas/NGL mix to maximize sweep efficiency and reduce injection costs. We are currently finalizing these modifications, but all indications are that it should lead to increased productivity and most importantly increased operating margins in 2022,” said Millholland.

The news helped COPL’s share price double since the start of January to 31.05 pence. An increase in crude oil prices also helped as WTI is now trading firmly above the $80 a barrel mark.

Reuters analysts predict that investors in US oil companies can expect their payouts to rise to record amounts and that oil and gas firms will continue investing in new oil projects “encouraged by White House calls for more oil output to tackle high energy prices and inflation.”

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This article does not constitute investment advice. Make sure you do your own research or consult a professional advisor.

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