FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – The Fort St. John Chamber of Commerce hosted an evening with PETRONAS Canada.
The evening allowed members of the community to hear a company update and the projected activity near Fort St. John and the surrounding area.
The company recently changed their name from Progress Energy to PETRONAS Canada to better reflect with the parent company’s values and commitment to the Country.
The President and CEO of PETRONAS Canada, Mark Fitzgerald, was scheduled to present at the conference but was unable to attend due to poor travel conditions.
On Fitzgerald’s behalf, Liz Hannah and Nicole Deyell presented and talked about the plans the company has for the area.
Hannah, Vice President of External Affairs and Communications for PETRONAS says the company is committed to the well-being of the community.
“We’re very focused on making sure that it’s not just what we do, but it’s also how we do it. So we are very focused on making sure that we are going to be the kind of neighbour that you want in your backyard for a very long time to come.”
From 2016 to 2018, the company halted all new drilling activity due to continued natural gas prices and spent that time revising their strategy.
Nicole Deyell, Vice President of Development and Unconventional Centre of Excellence for PETRONAS, says the company is happy to announce the return of drilling operations to the area.
“We’re very happy to announce that in October we brought back a drilling rig. We started drilling in the Town area, an eight-well pad, and we’ve actually finished three of those wells already, and we expect to have most of the pad, but not all of them, drilled this year.”
Deyell also says that PETRONAS Canada has started the work to build two new gas plants in the Fort St. John area and that the projects will be done based on a steady increase in activity.
“We’ve also started the work to build two new gas plants in the Town area and those will both tie-in to the main line when it comes online late next year, and then the following segment comes on in the following year. What you’ll see from us is a slow, steady increase in activity as we drill the wells for production in a measured way.”
As for the number of wells to be drilled, Deyell says it all depends on market conditions.
“How many wells we drill, how many rigs we bring in and how many plants are built, ultimately depends on the natural gas prices, on pipeline ability, and market conditions. Our plans for right now is to go from one rig, right now, to two rigs within next year and building to five to six rigs by 2022”.
During the presentation, Deyell talks about how PETRONAS Canada is going to monetize the North Montney. According to the company, the resource size in the North Montney is currently at 63 trillion cubic feet. The company says the current plan shows they are developing only 15 percent of that resource and 7 tcf of that resource will be sent west to the LNG Canada project in Kitimat.
By 2022, PETRONAS is aiming to spend a total of $1 billion in investments on the production projects in Fort St. John and the surrounding area.