Alberta Oilsands Inc. (AOS) is a Calgary, Canada-based oil sands developer focusing on bitumen resources in the Athabasca oil sands region of northeast Alberta. AOS focuses exclusively on underground or in situ recovery, with a primary focus on the Company’s Clearwater project near the City of Fort McMurray.
AOS was founded in late 2003 by Shabir Premji and Michael Lee, two experienced oil and natural gas company executives. They took the company public in 2004, and the company continues to trade on the TSX-Venture exchange under the symbol “AOS”.
The Company initially focused on redeveloping existing conventional oil-producing assets through a range of optimization and development drilling used to revitalize mature oil fields. AOS pursued a number of opportunities in Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba.
In 2006 AOS’s senior management began considering a strategic corporate shift from conventional oil and natural gas development to the exploration and development of bitumen resources in the oil sands sector. AOS management recognized that the then relatively new approach of SAGD, along with strengthening oil prices, created potential opportunity for smaller players to compete effectively and gain exposure to the massive resource upside of Alberta’s oil sands.
In 2007 the AOS Board of Directors officially endorsed this strategic shift into the oil sands. That year the Company began to assemble what is now AOS’s oil sands portfolio.
By the end of the first quarter of 2007, the Company had completed its first acquisition financed through the sale of its Saskatchewan conventional oil production. The proceeds realized from equity financings were used to acquire additional oil sands leases, which now form the core of the Clearwater, Algar Lake and Grand Rapids properties. Interestingly, since that time nearly the entire leasable area of the Athabasca oil sands region has been leased.
As it assembled its leases, AOS began the process of evaluating the extent and quality of the resources at the properties. From December 2007 through spring 2011 AOS drilled a total of 92 vertical delineation and coring wells at its Clearwater and other sites. The first resource estimates of the Clearwater property became available in 2008.
GLJ has assessed contingent resources of 373 million barrels in the best estimate case. The assessment reaffirms the magnitude and quality of the bitumen resources attributed to the Clearwater property and updates and supersedes all previous reports assigning probable reserves and contingent resources to the Company’s Clearwater Property. Further resource information is available by clicking here and here, or by viewing any of the Company’s presentations, also available on this website.
On January 18, 2010 AOS submitted its initial Clearwater Project application to the ERCB and Alberta Environment. On December 22, 2010 AOS submitted a project update that proposed the SLP-SAGD production technology. The application is currently under review by the regulatory agencies.
On November 25, 2010, AOS acquired an additional four sections of oil sands leases adjacent to its Clearwater property. This purchase joined the previously separate Clearwater West and Clearwater East projects into one contiguous development area, Clearwater.
Today, AOS has a total of four oil sands properties totalling 106 net sections.