CALGARY, Jan. 28, 2014 /CNW/ – SilverWillow Energy Corporation (“SilverWillow” or the “Corporation“) (TSXV:SWE) has been advised by the Alberta Energy Regulator (“AER“) that the AER is undertaking a technical review of the factors that affect reservoir containment of Steam Assisted Gravity Drainage (“SAGD”) projects with a view to developing formal regulatory requirements in 2014. Until such requirements are issued, the AER will defer decisions on applications for thermal oil sands projects in a designated shallow thermal area of the Wabiskaw-McMurray Deposit in the Athabasca Oil Sands Area that address reservoir containment differently from how the AER currently assesses it. The AER considers the 12,000 barrel per day Audet Project application to fit into this category. Therefore, the AER states that it will make no decision on the Audet Project application until formal regulatory requirements are developed and formally adopted, and notes that the final requirements may be less or more stringent or utilize different approaches than the current practice. SilverWillow will be expected to meet those requirements, which the AER advises may include acquiring 3-D seismic over the entire development area, prior to any decision on the Audet Project application. The AER expects to issue a formal bulletin regarding this deferral for affected applications within the shallow thermal area in early 2014.
SilverWillow expects that the effect of this deferral on its Audet Project application is to delay the potential approval. Accordingly, SilverWillow now anticipates that, if regulatory approval is received, construction of the Audet Project will also be delayed. SilverWillow’s estimates of such timeframes are subject to further regulatory decisions by the AER and other regulators in Alberta as well as other industry and business factors. Until the AER develops and implements its new regulatory requirements, SilverWillow can provide no guarantee that it will be able to meet them or issue a revised project schedule.
SilverWillow is disappointed with the delay that will be caused by the process to develop and formally adopt new regulatory requirements but is confident that the use of low pressure SAGD technology at the Audet Project continues to be a technically safe, responsible and economically viable process for the development of this large bitumen resource. The Corporation plans to participate in the formal AER consultation process and make use of the extensive technical work that has been completed on the Audet Project to address caprock integrity. In the meantime, SilverWillow intends to review its business plans relating to the Audet Project and its other business prospects in light of this deferral.
About SilverWillow Energy
SilverWillow Energy Corporation is a Calgary, Alberta based pre-production oil sands company with a portfolio of exploration leases in Canada’s Athabasca oil sands. To learn more, please visit www.swenergy.ca.
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Cautionary Statements Regarding Forward-Looking Information
This news release contains “forward-looking information” within the meaning of applicable securities laws. Forward-looking information is frequently characterized by words such as “plan”, “expect”, “project”, “intend”, “believe”, “anticipate”, “estimate” and other similar words, or statements that certain events or conditions “may” or “will” occur. The forward-looking information in this news release relates, but is not limited to, statements with respect to the Corporation’s understanding of the AER’s proposed development of new regulatory requirements, the anticipated timing of adopting such regulatory requirements, the effect of the new regulatory requirements on the timing for approving and developing the Corporation’s proposed Audet Project, the technical viability of the Audet Project, the Corporation’s plans to participate in the regulatory review process, and the Corporation’s plans to review its business plan in light of these regulatory developments.
The forward-looking information set out in this news release, is based on certain expectations and assumptions regarding, among other things, the exploration and development of the Audet Lands; the submission of the regulatory application for the Audet Lands; the AER’s process for developing new regulatory requirements and considering the application; the substance of such new regulations; the ability of the Corporation to participate in the regulatory review process; the ability of the Corporation to obtain required regulatory approval for the development of the Audet project; and technical assumptions regarding the feasibility of the Audet Project and the designed production level for the Audet SAGD project.
Forward-looking information is subject to known and unknown risks and uncertainties and other factors which may cause actual results, levels of activity and achievements to differ materially from those expressed or implied in such forward-looking information. Such risks, uncertainties and factors include, among others, the risk that the regulatory approvals in respect of the Audet Project will not be achieved in the timeframe or on the terms expected or at all; risks that the Corporation will not be permitted to participate in the regulatory review process; risks that the AER’s new regulations may prevent the Audet Project from being approved; risks that the AER may take additional time to develop new regulations or to process the Corporation’s application beyond the time frames stated in this news release; risks relating to the early stage of development of SilverWillow and the Audet lands; and the general risks associated with exploring for, developing and producing bitumen, including many factors beyond the Corporation’s control, and no assurance can be given that the indicated level of bitumen or the recovery thereof will be realized. In general, estimates of bitumen are based upon a number of factors and assumptions made as of the date on which the resource estimates were determined, such as geological and engineering estimates, which have inherent uncertainties.
Additional risks relating to the business and operations of SilverWillow are set forth in the Corporation’s Annual Information Form and in its most recent Management’s Discussion and Analysis, which are filed under the Corporation’s profile on SEDAR at www.sedar.com.
SilverWillow undertakes no obligation to update forward-looking information if circumstances or management’s estimates or opinions should change except as required by law. The reader is cautioned not to place undue reliance on forward looking information.
SOURCE SilverWillow Energy Corporation
For further information:
please contact Howard J. Lutley, President and Chief Executive Officer, at (403) 538-7030.