Operations

Operations Overview

In 2013, ARC executed a successful and disciplined capital program of $860 million. The program focused on high rate of return oil and liquids development at Ante Creek, Parkland, Tower, Pembina and Goodlands, as well as counter-cyclical natural gas development at Sunrise and Dawson.

ARC develops its asset base in a paced and strategic manner, pursuing projects that provide the highest rates of return over the long-term.  In 2013, we drilled a total of 167 gross operated wells, achieving record annual production of over 96,000 boe per day and ending the year with fourth quarter production averaging over 100,000 boe per day.  We replaced approximately 200 per cent of produced reserves at finding and development cost of $12.79 per boe for proved plus probable reserves, resulting in a three year average finding and development cost for proved plus probable reserves of $8.24 per boe, excluding changes in future development capital.  Notably, oil and liquids production has increased 19 per cent since 2010, as a result of a deliberate focus on high value oil and liquids-rich gas development, which started in 2011.  Excellent results at Ante Creek and Pembina in Alberta contributed to record liquids production of 40,990 bbls per day in the fourth quarter of 2013.         

A key focus in 2013 was the commercialization of the Parkland/Tower property in northeast British Columbia.  We executed a drilling program of 28 gross operated wells, and constructed a new gas processing and liquids handling facility at Parkland. The plant was commissioned safely and ahead of schedule late in the fourth quarter of 2013.  The robust drilling program resulted in a 42 per cent increase in total Parkland/Tower production in the fourth quarter of 2013 compared to the fourth quarter of 2012.  We will continue to systematically bring on additional volumes through the course of 2014 and 2015 to fill capacity at the plant.  The Parkland plant marks the third owned and operated facility ARC has constructed in the Montney region.  Investing in our own facilities ensures greater control over operational efficiencies and operating costs.  Other focus areas during the year included Ante Creek and Pembina.  Both areas continued to exceed expectations with the implementation of pad drilling programs resulting in a meaningful increase in liquids production.     

  • A key focus in 2013 was the commercialization of the Parkland/Tower property in northeast British Columbia.

The focus on multi-well pad development, which began in 2012, will continue in 2014.  Pad operations generally save 15 to 20 per cent compared to individual well development as the approach improves efficiencies.  ARC typically drills four to eight wells per pad in the Montney.  In addition to efficiency gains, multi-well pad development minimizes our operational footprint by leveraging shared surface infrastructure. This means, limited land disturbance and fewer access roads and pipelines.  

In 2013, we continued to strategically build our land base across key operating areas spending approximately $50 million on land and “tuck-in” acquisitions predominately in the Montney and Pembina Cardium regions. Tuck-in acquisitions consist of strategic parcels of land that are contiguous to our existing assets.  We target such opportunities in areas where we can leverage our existing resource position and technical expertise.  Operating core production in large contiguous land positions allows us to gain in-depth technical knowledge and benefit from economies of scale with exploitation programs.  In addition to the acquisitions in 2013, we continued to high grade our asset base, divesting approximately 2,000 boe per day of non-core assets during the year. 

 

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