Saturn Minerals Inc. (TSX.V: SMI) announced on April 24 that it had received a key permit from provincial regulators that will allow it to drill a well in Saskatchewan. The well will be drilled at its “Bannock Creek” property.
Saturn Minerals is a small Canadian oil and gas company that has a focus on the North Williston Basin. The basin stretches from North Dakota and Montana in the United States, up into Saskatchewan. The company controls over 376,000 acres of oil and gas rights. But it isn’t just oil and gas. In fact, Saturn discovered three massive coal deposits in Williston as well. Located in Manitoba, the coal seams are thick, and could be some of “the most favourable coal prospects in western Canada,” SM states in one of its project summaries.
But Saturn seems particularly bullish on its Bannock Creek Property. The drilling project will target oil in the stacked Red River, Winnipeg and Deadwood formations. Saturn conducted 2D seismic surveying and concluded that drilling the Bannock Creek could yield big results. The prospect is expected to hold up to 38 million barrels of oil across the three formations. There is high quality source rock and very good porosity. Saturn has completed seismic over just 15% of the Bannock property and has already identified several very promising targets (link to 4 page summary).
Bannock Creek will be Saturn’s first exploration well, but it feels confident because of other existing production nearby. It will drill at a depth of less than 1,000 meters. The wells can be drilled vertically at low-cost. Even better, it expects to produce a form of light oil that is of high quality, which has become well known across the Williston Basin.
“We have developed a very good exploration model for conventional oil exploration in this part of the very prolific Williston Basin, have funding in place, and hope to make oil exploration history with our first well at Bannock”, commented Stan Szary , President of Saturn.
Obtaining the permit should clear the way for drilling. Saturn will still have to wait for the weather to clear up though. Roads are closed off right now because of soft ground conditions. But Saturn says that once road restrictions are lifted, it will get its rig and crew to the drill site to begin work.
By James Burgess of Oilprice.com
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