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Posted: Wednesday Nov 12 7:45:05PM 2008
Petrobank had a stellar Q3.
Production avgd 30,000bpd, more than triple last year, current production already over 40,000bpd!!!
Drilled 61 Bakken wells, looks to exceed annual goal of 154.
Cashflow of 2.36 so forward annualized price to cashflow is under 2!!!! This is one of the premier growth energy companies in the world.
1.35eps so forward annualized p/e ratio is around 3+
Posted: Monday Oct 20 7:45:32AM 2008
PBG and PMG.to doing well today based on PR showing PMG has a new well online at 9700bpd.
Posted: Friday Oct 17 10:45:32AM 2008
PBG.to doing well today as light sweet has a bounce.
+2.36 to C$24.28 on 555K volume
Petrobank has been very volatile lately. Not sure this is permanent but PBG has been oversold. You are basically getting THAI for free!
Posted: Tuesday Oct 14 9:59:21AM 2008
pbg.to/pbegf.pk Finally a nice pop! +6.69 to C$27.19 on 1.3million traded.
Oil.to/Oilxf.pk +.80 to C$4.40
Posted: Wednesday Oct 8 9:56:02AM 2008
PBG.to C$21.49 unbelievable. Production in the high 30,000bpd by year end from avg of 10K for 2007.
New presentation this week at First Energy conference:
Posted: Thursday Oct 2 9:39:33AM 2008
PBG.to headed back down again. Hit intraday hi of C$47.01 on 8/29/08. Dropped to low of 32.25 on 9/16 and then bounced to hi of 47.20 on 9/24/08. Make up your mind!
Bought a few more at C$37 this morning. Could drop more if oil continues to weaken on worries that the world economy is in trouble.
Posted: Thursday Sep 4 2:31:23PM 2008
The next step for Petrobank. CAPRI, more underground upgrading. Heavy oil next. Bobwins
Source: Oilweek Magazine
What lies beneath
Poised to launch the CAPRI component of its in situ toe-to-heel air injection production technology, Petrobank aims to upgrade bitumen before it ever comes to the surface
by Graham Chandler
In just a few months, if all goes as expected, Ravinder Sierra will help make history. He opens a prescription-sized vial and taps out a few tiny metallic cylinders the size of candy sprinkles. Later this year, millions of these tiny bits of catalyst should be helping ‘crack´ heavy oil before it leaves its reservoir in a world´s first for the industry.
"It´s really a mini-refinery," says Sierra, manager of technology development for Whitesands Insitu Ltd., a wholly owned subsidiary of Petrobank Energy and Resources. "These are pretty standard catalysts as used in the refinery world."
The catalysts may be world standard, but the way they will be applied to the heavy crude at Whitesands most certainly is not.
It´s called the CAPRI system and it´s been designed to do the job of a refinery at the bottom of Petrobank´s patented THAI (toe-to-heel air injection) wells at the company´s pilot project near Christina Lake in northeastern Alberta. In the THAI system, an air pressure-driven combustion front loosens heavy oil as it slowly works its way forward, and the freed oil flows under gravity through slots in horizontal collector pipes, then is gas-lifted to surface processing systems.
For the CAPRI pilot, the horizontal pipes have been uniquely configured such that after passing through the slots, the hot crude will pass through a bed of catalyst and on through slots in a concentric inner pipe before being lifted.
Sierra says it will be a world´s first. He and his team have spent the past few years perfecting the process in the laboratory, and it´s now field time. Assisting were two British universities-Bath and Birmingham-supported by a generous grant from the British government´s Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC).
The cracking to be achieved by CAPRI will be a step further in the upgrading process already occurring with THAI. With temperatures of over 600°C, THAI has achieved coking, raising 8°API oil to 13 or 14 degrees.
"It´s in situ coking," says Chris Bloomer, Petrobank´s vice-president, heavy oil. "If we look at it from a refiner´s perspective, you´re increasing the saturates content, slightly reducing the aromatics, but significantly reducing the asphaltene content and the resin content. You increase the volatile organics fairly substantially. It´s very encouraging."
Once Petrobank was reasonably satisfied with the THAI technology-it´s been under pilot project status for several months now-the company decided it was time to look at further cracking via CAPRI.
Bloomer says it took a year to come up with the most effective catalyst configuration. "What we´ve come up with is these concentric liners," he explains. "We have a nine and five-eighths [inches] outside liner and a centralized five-and-a-half inch inner liner. Each of these are joined and have unique seals and couples at either end, and together they form the production liner. In the space between is the catalyst."
Weatherford International was engaged to assist with creating the design.
Bloomer is excited about the way the process works deep underground.
"What happens is the produced gas [from the THAI process] has a fairly high concentration of hydrogen, which is important to producing a stabilized oil," he says. "Our oil is pipeline spec, it´s stable, there are no weird emulsions. The oil and water separate very easily. So when it hits the catalyst with the hydrogen present, it will catalytically crack. Then the hydrogen will stabilize it in the wellbore. So this is like the reactor vessel in the reservoir. You´re down at pressure, you´ve get temperature, you´ve got hydrogen present, and so you can further upgrade the oil."
And he says if they get even half the upgrading in the field that they´ve achieved in the lab-as was the case with THAI-it will be considered a success. Lab results have predicted a 7°API boost using CAPRI.
"Even with another two or three out of CAPRI, you´re getting significantly up the food chain in terms of oil quality," he says. In that minimum case, together with THAI, it means they´d be going from an 8-degree crude to a 16-degree crude. "With such a viscosity, it greatly reduces the need for a condensate," he says. "So there´s an economic advantage."
Petrobank chose to take its third THAI well-dubbed P3-off line and replace it with parallel well P3B to station the CAPRI pilot. Drilling into a combustion zone needed extra caution. "We had a lot of discussions with the ERCB [Energy Resources Conservation Board]," Bloomer says. "But the bottom line is we drilled that first CAPRI well perfectly-the full length we wanted."
After flowing through CAPRI, the upgraded oil arrives at the surface, where it will face a new processing system to remove any produced sand, which had been an unexpected hiccup with the THAI pilot.
"We´re going to a much simpler separation system," Bloomer says. "Because we get a very clean oil-water separation, which is unique and not like SAGD, we don´t need the condensate to create the density difference to separate the water."
Bloomer says the produced water has been vapourized in the reservoir. "So it comes out very clean," he says. "In fact, this water is very similar to, if not better than, typical SAGD source water. So we can sell it to SAGD producers for use in their makeup water."
The produced crude will also be run through a horizontal sand separator vessel. Bloomer explains why. "A: we don´t expect as much sand, and B: because we get a clean oil-water separation we can treat the oil-water production like conventional heavy oil. The only difference is we produce the combustion gas, and that has to be separated, but that comes off at the wellhead. We´ll take that to the gas sweetening unit, but then we´re just going to take the production to a conventional cone-bottom tank."
This is a big tank that takes the oil and water off and allows sand to settle in the bottom. Bloomer says the new system dramatically improves the economics of the processing.
"You don´t have these high-pressure vessels where you´re separating gas, separating oil, separating water, separating sand," he says.
Underground, Bloomer doesn´t expect sand to interfere with the catalyst action, or the catalyst to expire before doing its job.
"The catalyst is only being exposed for a short time, where the combustion front is, so we don´t need the catalyst to be effective over the whole life of the well. It´s only being used where the front is passing over."
As the whole CAPRI idea had been around for some time, maybe 15 years or so, the company feels it´s good to finally apply it in the field. Until the bugs were out of THAI and banks of data gathered, Petrobank couldn´t do much of the serious planning for a CAPRI application.
"We got down to business about a year and a half ago and said, ‘Hey, we´re gonna put one of these in the ground,´" says Bloomer. "So then the devil is in the details."
Petrobank had to face all the unknowns: what residence time is needed, what kind of flow is needed, what kind of catalyst to use, what the wellbore should look like. And more.
"The catalyst bed is like a little reactor vessel in the ground, so you´ve got to seal both ends," Bloomer explains. "And to allow for heat expansion the joint design has to be taken into account, and how you connect them all up. They´re pipe joints and individual sections laid out with couplings, which have to move with heat. A cone at the end of the catalyst is welded so it stays in place."
As manager of technology development, Sierra is confident that he´s simulated CAPRI in the lab to such an extent that the field application will be optimized. But he´s keeping in mind that labs aren´t the field and to expect the unexpected.
The lab model was smaller than the field application, for instance. "But it´s scalable to the best of our knowledge," Sierra says.
The technology was lab tested in a box-like enclosure with lots of insulation and dozens of thermocouple wires emanating.
"We have a full-fledged 3-D reactor here," Sierra says, while displaying a photo of the equipment. "It´s perfectly sealed because we have to make the burn at 600 or 700 degrees and there´s gas. In this we put a small CAPRI well-much smaller than the one we´ll use in the field." He proudly adds that the model is the only one of its kind in the world right now.
And should it not meet expectations in the field, Sierra says there are adjustments that can be made. For example, critical residence time (the length of time the crude is exposed to the catalyst) can be varied through geometry changes. "Right now it´s the concentric arrangement. But we can play with that," he says. "Or you could make the inner one smaller, allowing a thicker layer, a thicker bed."
The other geometric aspect that can be varied is the catalyst itself. "The catalysts are very small," says Sierra, sprinkling out others with different forms and pointing out variations in their morphology. "This one is cylindrical, this one has kinds of ridges on it," he says. "So we can play with the geometry of the catalyst-we can make it bigger or into different shapes. Also, we can pack it differently."
All of which, he explains, effectively changes the exposure of the oil to the catalyst surfaces.
Sierra doesn´t anticipate that any sand getting through the outer slots will interfere with the catalyst action.
"If it does go through, it will be minimal. It´s silicon, so there will be no reactivity. In fact, it might even increase the number of reaction sites-if it intermingles quite well with the catalyst, it will provide more surface area."
He acknowledges that´s optimistic thinking. "In the lab, it works great," he says.
Once the THAI-CAPRI pair is working in concert, it will be a genuine self-contained underground refinery. "Basically, you´ve got the coker and the cat cracker," says Bloomer.
Along with the efficiencies expected from the pair, Petrobank has complementary technologies it´s developing through its research and development facility, Archon Technologies, to run in parallel.
"We´re looking at a number of technologies," says Bloomer. "Enriched oxygen, sulphur recovery-taking the H2S and creating a solid sulphur product that is close enough to 100 per cent to be usable."
Lab reactors are currently analyzing various upgrading effects, and Archon´s scientists have created a kind of ‘fingerprint´ library to allow comparison of the different oils. "What comes out of the ground here is very similar to what we see in the lab," Bloomer says, adding he´d like to apply the process to reservoirs with different characteristics.
"We think this is going to work much better in more conventional heavy oil reservoirs that actually have an oil that will flow. [At Whitesands] we´re in an immobile reservoir, which is probably one of the most difficult in the world."
That´s where the Dawson project in Peace River, one of the company´s future applications, will go. "That´s a heavy oil that you can pump but only get about 6 to 10 per cent of the oil out," says Bloomer. Petrobank has formed a joint venture with Duvernay Oil Corporation to test it there.
And another upcoming project at May River, which Bloomer says is a 10,000 to 12,000 barrel per day project, will pilot the entire system. "We´re just designing that right now," he says. "We will be running all the different things, power generation, solid sulphur recovery, enriched oxygen." Application is slated for the middle of 2008.
Bloomer says a main point about the technology is that it´s not just an oilsands technology. "It addresses a lot of the issues with in situ oilsands development. It is a global heavy oil technology. It can be applied around the world in all kinds of reservoirs. Colombia, Venezuela, the United States, Saskatchewan, Russia, offshore Brazil. And we own the rights to it."
Posted: Wednesday Aug 13 10:22:57AM 2008
Petrobank has continued to slide, down to C$34 this week. Finally a bounce today. +4.88 to C$38.72
PMG.to (76.2% owned by PBG) reported .30eps for Q2 vs 12.09 price. About a 10 p/e but reported that lower production in Q2 to 7339bpd has dramatically improved to 17,000bpd now after adding production from two newest wells and bringing old wells back online after maintenance. Should dramatically impact Q3 & 4.
PBG should report solid increases in production from Bakken wells. 7 drills turning since breakup. Goal is 130+ new wells drilled in 2008!
Posted: Thursday Jun 26 7:44:08AM 2008
PBG.to +.68 to 49.60
I sold out of PBG.to about a month ago at US$57. Bought back a few shares yesterday at US$47. Petrobank has been underperforming for the past few months compared to other oil plays and especially to other Bakken plays. Underlying fundamentals are still good. Bakken machine is going full blast and THAI is moving thru test phases. Duvernay pilot this fall is very important to PBG. Heavy oil is much more prevalent around the world than bitumen and a lot easier to transport and convert into lighter vehicle fuels.