Lab Canada

Researching future energy reserves the target of Alberta alliance

Edmonton, AB May 16, 2003 The Alberta Research Council (ARC) says it has formed an alliance with TerraTek of Salt Lake City, Utah to provide integrated field services for research activities and field-testing of unconventional natural gas, including coalbed methane (CBM), shale gas, and tight gas in Western Canada.

The alliance combines TerraTek’s experience in delivering engineering services to the oil and gas industry with ARC’s expertise in research, development and demonstration of unconventional gas recovery and environmental experience. The partners will immediately offer developers and producers in Western Canada advanced research and development services, field desorption measurements and laboratory isotherm measurements.

“We’re excited to be partnering with TerraTek to bring new research and testing technology to western Canadian markets,” says Dr Ian Potter, ARC’s director of sustainable energy futures. "Our integrated services will help Canadian energy producers take the next step toward responsible development of unconventional fossil fuel resources."

John Robinson, a drilling and reservoir specialist based in Calgary will manage ARC’s alliance activity. Other members of the ARC team include Jeffrey Sinclair, technology development and marketing officer, and Derek Krivak, project manager and unconventional gas analytical specialist, both also of Calgary.

TerraTek, a research and testing business, has worked in coalbed methane development over the past 25 years. Under the alliance, the US-based company will provide expertise in shale gas and CBM recovery. TerraTek will contribute its expertise and know-how to ARC’s expertise in geological storage.

“We are very pleased to be part of the ARC team,” says Sidney Green, chief executive officer of TerraTek. “Our first action will be to launch a number of advanced field and laboratory reservoir evaluation services currently unavailable in Western Canada”.

John Keller, head of the company’s core analysis division will manage TerraTek’s participation. TerraTek’s Keith Greaves, CBM analysis expert, and John Kieschnick, shale gas analysis expert, provide strong technical expertise for this business.

Coalbed methane is a critical energy source, currently accounting for nearly eight percent of the US’ natural gas supply. Shale gas technology, although still in the early stage of development, offers even larger new gas resources. Western Canadian reserves of both coalbed methane and shale gas are substantial and could lead to a significant portion of Canadian gas production in the future. Natural gas recovery from these unconventional gas sources requires different technology than conventional gas recovery. The Alberta Research Council-TerraTek alliance is intended to help provide rapid introduction of the required technology.