Black Spruce expanding operations in western Newfoundland

Diane Crocker dcrocker@thewesternstar.com
Published on September 14, 2013
David Murray, president and CEO of Black Spruce  Exploration Corp., spoke at the Rotary Club of Corner Brook luncheon Thursday, May 30, 2013.
Star photo by Geraldine Brophy

CORNER BROOK  Black Spruce Exploration Corp. has started preparation for a “regular land drilling” operation in the Garden Hill area on the Port au Port Peninsula.

David Murray, president and chief executive officer of the company, said Black Spruce will be drilling on a licence that it acquired under a farmin agreement with Enegi Oil.

Murray said pending final approval from the province the targeted start of drilling is sometime in December.

“It’s already within all the guidelines that are there, so we don’t see any issues with that,” he said.

He also said the plan is to apply for approval to drill four or five other wells in the area.

“We already have the production lease,” said Murray. “It’s already approved by the province we just have to submit the specific request.”

He described the operation as “delineation development drilling,” and said the goal is to produce more oil wells. Each well will take 45 days to drill using conventional horizontal drilling.

“We’re hoping that the wells will come in around at 250 to 300 barrels a day per well,” said Murray of their potential once they move into production.

He said it’s hard to comment on the lifespan of the wells, but hopes it will be in the 15-plus year range.

The Garden Hill licence is one of nine held by Black Spruce on the west coast. Murray noted they also have two licences pending on another transaction. The licences include a mixture of onshore, offshore and onshore to offshore parcels.

Meanwhile, the drilling is not the only activity taking place on the west coast for the company.

 On Wednesday, Black Spruce officially opened an office in the R.A. Pollett Building on Riverside Drive.

Murray said with all the licence areas being close in this area it made sense to have an office in the city. “It has reasonable infrastructure that can support it.”

Murray has relocated to the city and, besides himself, the office will have an engineer, two geologists and accounting and administrative staff onsite. He said the bulk of the job opportunities with the company will be in the field and expects to hire between 30 and 35 people. Starting next month Black Spruce will have some job fairs and Murray noted it already has some applications.

“There’s a lot of good native western Newfoundlanders working in Alberta. We’re hoping to bring them back.”

Twitter: WS_DianeCrocker