North

Despite discovery, ConocoPhillips not planning more exploration

ConocoPhillips says it doesn't plan to do any more exploration work on its parcel in the N.W.T.'s Canol shale oil play despite its application for a significant discovery declaration related to that parcel.

Company's plans for Canol Shale parcel put on hold "for the foreseable future"

ConocoPhillips drilled four wells - two of them done with a combination of horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing - in the winter of 2013-2014 south of Norman Wells. Despite a significant discovery related to that overall program, the company says it's not planning any further exploration work there. (CBC)

ConocoPhillips says it doesn't plan to do any more exploration work on its parcel in the N.W.T.'s Canol shale oil play for the foreseeable future.

That's despite its recent application to the Northwest Territories government for a significant discovery declaration related to exploration work it did south of Norman Wells last winter. The work included horizontal drilling paired with hydraulic fracturing.

"Although a significant discovery declaration and subsequent significant discovery licence is a positive indication for a play, it does not indicate commercial viability," said Kristen Ashcroft, a spokesperson for ConocoPhillips.

The company says it will return to the site next winter, but only to suspend a well — "a common industry practice to verify the secure condition of a well for the long term," said Ashcroft.

The company would not confirm whether its discovery is oil or natural gas or both.

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