Athabasca Oil Sands Corp (TSE:ATH) has increased its net resource volumes by 10% at its Hangingstone, Dover West, Birch and Grosmont properties during the 2010 - 2011 winter drilling season, it said Friday.
Over 89 delineation wells at the properties, each located at the company's Deep Basin play in northwestern Alberta, returned increased estimated contingent resources of 9.67 billion barrels, as well as estimated probable reserves of 289 million barrels, up 10% over the December 2010 estimate.
Based on the latest resource report, which was prepared by GLJ Petroleum Consultants and DeGolyer and MacNaughton Canada, the pre-tax net present value of future net revenues from its contingent resources, as well as probable and possible reserves, was calculated at $33.4 billion. Of this amount, contingent resources were estimated to contribute $31.3 billion.
The Birch region, located northwest of Fort McMurray, provided the largest addition in resources, as the company saw a 64% boost to 1.9 billion barrels of resources, believed to be able to support a project with plateau production of 155,000 barrels per day.
"We are excited with the results after one drilling season, especially knowing there are large parts of the area which are relatively unexplored and which could add further upside," said president and CEO, Sveinung Svarte.
Meanwhile, tests at its Dover West property are progressing, with the first test returning an additional estimated 140 million barrels of contingent resource.
Based on promising drill results from initial wells, Athabasca's board of directors approved an additional $61.5 million to the budget for expanded work programs, including additional wells, 3D seismic and geological studies on the Montney, Nordegg and Duvernay formations. The company is planning to drill a total of 14 wells during 2011.
Athabasca also said it filed three regulatory applications with the Energy Resources Conversation Board for its MacKay River and Dover commercial products and for its wholly owned Hangingstone pilot project.
The company holds more than one million acres of acreage for light oil and liquids-rich gas resource play.