Petronas resumes Montney drilling after two-year absence

Malaysia’s state-owned oil and gas company is back in the field in Northeast B.C. after two years of no drilling.

Petronas subsidiary Progress Energy resumed drilling activity in the basin this month, spudding four wells from an existing pad, analysts with Peters & Co. said on Monday.

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In addition to having the largest shipping commitment on the North Montney Mainline, which is currently under construction, Petronas is now a joint venture partner in the LNG Canada project, they noted.

About a year after cancelling its own B.C. project, Pacific NorthWest LNG, in May 2108 Petronas purchased a 25 per cent interest in Shell’s $40 billion proposed project. LNG Canada got the final go-ahead earlier this month.

Progress has not been drilling in Northeast B.C. since March 2016, and has not licensed a new well since December 2017, Peters & Co. said.

“However, Progress has over 300 undrilled well permits dating back to 2010. Well permits in B.C. expire after two years if construction has not commenced, however almost all of the outstanding Progress well permits are on constructed well pad sites where one or two wells have been drilled during initial deletion, so it is likely that most of these well permits are still valid.”

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