IconOil drills two wells in Saskatchewan oilsands

At the tail end of the winter drilling season, IconOil Exploration & Development Ltd. did something no one has done in Saskatchewan for quite a while- drill wells in the oilsands. Pipeline News interviewed IconOil’s CEO and chair, Grant Strem via email while he was in Europe on April 25.

Pipeline News: Can you tell us a little about Icon?

Grant Strem: We invest into transformative resource and technology plans that we consider to be environmentally helpful. Our operations are in Western Canada and Europe. 

P.N.:We haven’t seen much, if any activity, in the Saskatchewan oilsands region since Cenovus bought the assets of the defunct Oilsands Quest. What is Icon doing in the region? 

G.S.:We drilled and abandoned 2 shallow wells. 

P.N.:Can you describe where it is?

G.S.: Northwest of Meadow Lake, Saskatchewan.

P.N.: You seem to be showing interest in oilsands at a time when other oilsands projects have been dropping like flies. Can you please explain how the timing is right, at this time?

G.S.:At the time we were drilling, ours was the only rig turning in all of Saskatchewan. This allowed us to find excellent available people and equipment for our operation.

P.N.: What have you done to date, and what are your plans for the future?

G.S.: We intend to drill what we are calling “geophysical observatories” in a wide range of locations starting this summer. We have access to some interesting technologies, allowing pure hydrogen production for example, that we would like to begin testing.

P.N.: Oilsands Quest had difficulty with inadequate cap rock for SAGD in their area. Is this an issue for you?

G.S.: At IconOil we believe there are better methods than SAGD for extracting energy.  

P.N.: Is there anything you’d like to add?

G.S.: I would like to thank the local workforce for helping us make our drilling program a reality.  

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