Athabasca Oil Corp.

Title: Athabasca Oil Corp.
Category: Energy
Clicks: 7
Added on: Jun 16, 2012
Athabasca Oil Corp.is a Calgary-based oil company, which has interests or owns leases in the Athabasca oil sands. The company is traded on TSX under the ticker symbol ATH. The main competitors of Athabasca Oil Sands are Suncor Energy Inc., SilverBirch Energy Corporation, and OPTI Canada Inc., all based in Calgary, Alberta.

The company was established in 2006 with the goal of acquiring and developing high-potential oil sands assets in northern Alberta’s Athabasca region. The company sold assets to PetroChina in 2009, divesting of 60 percent interest in the Dover and Mackay River projects. In early 2010, the company’s IPO was the largest Canadian initial public offering since that of Manulife Financial.

The main oil sands areas are Cold Lake, Peace River, and Athabasca, with the latter deposit being the largest of the three. Formerly known as Athabasca tar sands, the Athabasca oil sands are deposits of heavy crude oil or bitumen, found in the northeastern part of Alberta. The oil sands found within the McMurray Formation are composed of clay minerals, silica sand, crude bitumen, and water. Athabasca Oil Sands Corp owns permits and leases in the region but no commercial developments are operated by the company.

The majority of the company’s resource base is found at the McMurray formation, while the Leduc, Nisku, and Grosmont formations within the company’s leases have large carbonate potential. Athabasca Oil Sands focuses on seven major development and exploration areas, among which MacKay River JV, where it is operating jointly with PetroChina. Other development and exploration areas are Dover West (carbonates and clastics), Grosmont JV (carbonates), Dover JV (clasitcs), and other sites.

The team of the company has expertise and experience in using recovery processes such as SAGD in recovering unconventional oil. In situ developments resemble conventional developments and are less intrusive compared to mining operations. The company plans to produce oil using the SAGD method instead of the opening-pit method used in older mining sites. SAGD projects consume more energy required for steam generation but require less area compared to open-pit projects.
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