Natural Gas

Natural Gas

This region includes volatile oil and liquids-rich natural gas areas in Northeast BC and Northwest Alberta. The Company’s exploration strategy focuses on comprehensive geological and geophysical evaluation using mostly three dimensional seismic augmented with two dimensional data. Strategically we target the technically strongest and most robust economic prospects / program areas which are generally close to existing infrastructure.  The two major exploration growth plays we are pursuing are the liquids rich gas and oil bearing Montney play and the Deep Basin liquids rich gas Spirit River plays in the Falher / Wilrich and Notikewin Formations.

Canadian Natural has a total undeveloped net acreage of ~4.7 million acres, in conjunction with 28 operated major gas facilities and an extensive pipeline network that provides a significant competitive advantage and provides us some of the industry’s lowest operating costs.

In the West Region Canadian Natural produces gas, liquids-rich natural gas and oil from multiple carbonate and clastic sandstone and siltstone reservoir zones with formation depths ranging from 700 to 4,500 meters.

Two key exploration growth plan drilling targets that we are actively developing in the West Region are the Montney and Deep Basin areas.  These two major growth play positions have a robust horizontal well inventory and have multi-year future field development plans in place. 

The Montney play extending throughout Northwest Alberta and into Northeastern BC and has ~1.0 MM net acres of Montney rights – one of the largest amongst our peers. The Company has high-graded these assets by technically targeting defined “sweet spots” for both optimal reservoir quality as well as for high natural gas liquids and oil yields and have combined this with strong infrastructure position. We continue to evaluate and plan for future program scale drilling and production on these valuable assets.

The Deep Basin position has ~1.8MM net acres of Spirit River Formation rights which is the dominant producing liquids rich gas Formation.  Our Deep Basin assets from Edson to Wapiti have a significant horizontal well exploration drilling inventory of Spirit River liquids rich natural gas drills as well as Dunvegan Formation light oil drills. We have extensive and underutilized infrastructure which provides us with a “Drill to fill” strategic opportunity as well as low operating costs.

The Company also has major developed and producing asset areas and core exploration growth areas in the Deep Basin, Peace River Arch, Northeastern B.C. and the Foothills area.  In all of our core asset areas Canadian Natural’s profitability continues to improve through more efficient drilling, completions and tie-in practices. The related costs have been reduced significantly over time through applying learnings, improved technology and efficiency gains via large consolidated drilling programs, using multi- well pads and sharing services. 

Our solid geological and geophysical understanding of all our various play types throughout the West combined with our extensive seismic over our entire area allows our teams to apply extensive technical integration with our reservoir and production teams to select the best value adding investment opportunities. 

This region includes shallow, sweet dry natural gas areas in Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba. This area provides significant optionality for future natural gas development. Included in this region are both the Northern Plains and Southern Plains regions.

The Northern Plains region extends from just south of Edmonton to north of Fort McMurray and from the Northwest Alberta area extending into western Saskatchewan. Over most of the region, both sweet and sour natural gas reserves are produced from numerous productive zones at depths up to approximately 1,500 meters. In the southwest portion of the region, NGLs and light crude oil are also encountered at slightly greater depths.

The Southern Plains area is principally located south of the Northern Plains area to the United States border and extending into western Saskatchewan.

Reserves of natural gas, condensate and light gravity crude oil are contained in numerous productive zones at depths up to 2,300 meters. Unlike the Company’s other natural gas producing regions, which have areas with limited or winter access only, drilling can take place in this region throughout the year.

The Company maintains a large inventory of drilling locations on its land base in this region. This region is one of the more mature regions of the Western Canadian Sedimentary Basin and requires continual operational cost control through efficient utilization of existing facilities, flexible infrastructure design and consolidation of interests where appropriate to ensure we maximize returns from the area.