PE-backed Canbriam making most of prolific Montney

PE-backed Canbriam making most of prolific Montney

The prolific nature of the Montney play in Western Canada continues to propel private equity oil and gas company Canbriam Energy to new heights, says company CEO and president Paul Myers.

When we started this company in 2007, we looked at many plays across North America and decided to focus our efforts in the Montney. We believe the Montney play in Western Canada is one of the lowest supply cost unconventional gas resources in North America, he told the world Oil Council, ahead of its Canada Assembly taking place in Calgary on May 28.

It is prolific across British Columbia and Alberta and competes very favorably on a supply cost basis across the continent. In addition there is a stable and growing local market for the gas condensate in oil sands development projects. He said the key to Canbriam’s success has been its ability to identify an area where many key geologic attributes such as rock quality, reservoir pressure and thermal maturity combine to differentiate the asset.

The Montney is a world class resource and the quality varies from area to area. In times like these when commodity prices are low, the quality tends to stand out.  Canbriam’s focus is in the liquids rich natural gas window of the play in Northeast British Columbia, just west of Fort St. John. It currently produces just more than 18,000 boe/d and production is 80% natural gas and 20% natural gas liquids (approximately 67% condensate).

Its current gas processing capacity is 25,000 boe/d, but the company plans to commission 15,000 boe/d by year end. Myers explained that with the company enjoying the backing of private equity, it followed a path of de-risking new resources before moving into development. To accomplish that we invested time and capital to understand the subsurface and experimented with completion techniques to help us be competitive across the continent.

This can be difficult to under the quarterly magnifying glass of the public markets.

Having patient private equity investors allowed us to carry out some experimentation and R&D over a couple of years so that when we moved into development we could count on consistent results.  Myers added Canbriam was also in the fortunate position of being able to own and operate two gas processing plants. By owning and operating our facilities we control the pace and allocation of capital into the infrastructure and are not driven by third party contracts. We can integrate data and work at a pace we deem appropriate for market conditions.

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