• Baytex Energy Corp.
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Peace River Area

Watch the Peace River Area Video

Our Peace River area heavy oil operations include both cold primary and thermal cyclic steam stimulation ("CSS") production. Since the beginning of 2000, we have accumulated 306 sections of oil sands leases and grown production from zero to a current rate of approximately 23,900 bbl/d in Q4/2013. During 2013, we drilled 41 cold horizontal production wells, 15 CSS wells for our second CSS module ("Pad 2") and 24 stratigraphic test wells in the Peace River area. Through the fourth quarter of 2013, we have drilled 183 cold horizontal oil wells with a 100% success rate.

Our proved plus probable reserves total 114 mmbbl, consisting of 67 mmbbl of primary (cold) reserves and 47 mmboe of bitumen reserves associated with the Cliffdale CSS project. The Contingent Resource Assessment for Peace River, prepared by Sproule Associates Limited, as at December 31, 2013, equaled 450 mmbbl, 553 mmbbl and 796 mmbbl of oil and bitumen per the low, best and high estimates, respectively. 

Operating Responsibly in Peace River

We will continue to focus on development at  Peace River, and note that it will attract a larger percentage of our 2014 capital budget than any other project in our asset portfolio. In 2014, we expect to drill approximately 36 cold multi-lateral horizontal wells and 28 stratigraphic and service wells. The purpose of the stratigraphic test wells is to improve delineation of our land base and guide development well trajectories.

The vast resource base, combined with the exceptional capital and production efficiencies Baytex has achieved, makes Peace River one of our main areas of development focus.

Operating StatisticsReservoir Characteristics
Land position 306 sections Average pay thickness 15 - 20 metres
Average working interest 100% Average porosity 28%
Average production rate - Q4 2013 23,900 bbl/d Permeability 0.5 – 5.0 darcies
Proved plus probable reserves (YE 2013) 114 mmboe Depth 600 - 700 metres
Cold horizontal wells drilled to year-end 2013 183 Oil quality 11°API
Stratigraphic wells drilled to year-end 2013 88 Oil Saturation 70%
Drilling success rate 100%  

Primary Development

Multi-lateral WellThe technology we employ at Peace River continues to evolve, leading to greater production rates, increased recovery, and even stronger capital efficiencies. Our initial completion technique involved drilling mile-long single leg horizontal wells at a depth of approximately 600 metres. These wells initially produced at rates of between 150-200 bbl/d. In August 2007, we drilled our first multi-lateral well (dual-leg), and in February 2008, we drilled our first triple-lateral well. The completion technique has continued to evolve and the current well design is eight to ten mile-long laterals,  sometimes augmented with several shorter laterals.  


Thermal Development

Thermal Commercial CSS In addition to our primary development, reservoir analysis of the Peace River properties has indicated that both waterflood and cyclic steam methods have the potential to increase economic oil reserves beyond what is achievable with cold primary recovery.

Baytex has continued to progress its thermal operations in the Cliffdale area. The original 10-well CSS module at Pad 1 produced 173,970 barrel of oil in 2013 with an average steam-oil ratio of 2.4 barrels of steam per barrel of oil. Pad 1 production and cumulative steam-oil ratio performance continue to track our predictions.

Regulatory approval was received in the first quarter 2013 for Pad 2, a 15-well CSS module adjacent to Pad 1. Thermal facility construction began early in the second quarter of 2013 with first steam injection planned for late in the second quarter of 2014. The 15 CSS wells were drilled successfully throughout 2013 and are currently producing as planned under primary conditions to create the initial voidage required for the CSS process.

The figure above illustrates how a CSS project would work at Peace River. In CSS, the same well is used for both steam injection and oil production. CSS is a lower cost form of thermally-enhanced oil recovery as compared to SAGD.

Primary Development*Thermal Development*
Cost per well (drill, complete, tie-in): Modular development – 15 wells per phase
8-10 laterals $2.6-$3.4 million Capital requirement per phase ~$55 million
Production rate per well (30-day IP) 300-700 bbl/d Anticipated production rate (peak year) 2,000 bbl/d
EUR per well 275-550 mbbl EUR per 15-well phase 7.5 mmbbl
Recovery factor 5% - 7% of OOIP Recovery factor – approximately 30% based on numerical reservoir simulation.
  Model based on 50-meter inter-well spacing (approximately 32 wells per section)
*Baytex internal estimates

Peace River Timeline


  • Drilled 41 cold horizontal production wells. Total number of wells drilled increases to 183.
  • Drilled 24 stratigraphic test wells.
  • Successfully completed Pad 2, our second CSS module, consisting of 15 wells, at Cliffdate.
  • Production averaged approximately 23,000 bbl/d; proved plus probable reserves at Peace River total 114 mmbbl.


  • Added 43 net sections of prospective oil sands leases through land acquisitions, acreage trades, and farm-in agreements.
  • Drilled 33 cold horizontal production wells. Total number of wells drilled increases to 142.
  • Drilled 18 stratigraphic test wells.
  • Successfully completed first 10-well CSS module at Cliffdate; advanced regulatory process for our next 15-well module.
  • Production averaged 20,000 bbl/d; proved plus probable reserves at Peace River total 110 mmbbl.


  • In February 2011, acquired approximately 1,700 bbl/d of production and 95,600 net acres of undeveloped land (100% working interest). Baytex's land position at Peace River increases to 157,000 net undeveloped acres.
  • Drilled 27 cold horizontal production wells, encompassing a total of 329 laterals, up from 115 laterals in 2010. Total number of wells drilled increases to 104.
  • Drilled six stratigraphic test wells.
  • Drilled nine CSS wells and in December 2011 commenced operation of first 10-well commercial thermal module.
  • Production averaged 15,400 bbl/d; proved plus probable reserves at Peace River total 102 mmbbl (including Reno).


  • Drilled 16 horizontal producers, encompassing a total of 115 laterals, up from 72 laterals in 2009. Total number of wells drilled increases to 77.
  • Drilled seven stratigraphic test wells, designed to improve delineation of our land base and guide development well trajectories. Total number of stratigraphic test wells increases to 33.
  • Re-entered 8 existing single-leg horizontal wells and drilled 7 to 16 new laterals per well to access undrained areas of the reservoir.
  • Conducted a second successful steam injection pilot in the Cliffdale area, located seven miles to the east of our first steam pilot.
  • Development plans continued for a 10-well commerical thermal project.
  • Production averaged 9,135 bbl/d; proved plus probable reserves at Peace River total 84 mmbbl.


  • Drilled 17 new horizontal wells bringing the total number of wells drilled to 61.
  • Drilled two stratigraphic test wells.
  • Drilling technology continues to advance. Baytex drills its first four-lateral, six-lateral, and eight-lateral wells.
  • The 2008 cyclic steam pilot project exceeds expectations; the test generates an impressive steam-oil ratio of 1.3 barrels of steam per barrel of oil.
  • Production averaged 5,100 bbl/d; proved plus probable reserves at Peace River total 55 mmbbl.


  • Drilled 19 new horizontal production wells bringing total. number of producing wells to 44.
  • Four new stratigraphic test wells drilled to identify extensions to the initial development area.
  • In February 2008 Baytex drills its first triple-lateral well.
  • Cyclic steam pilot project was carried out on an existing horizontal producer to validate the numerical reservoir simulation model.
  • The 2008 reserve report included the first assignment for thermal reserves at Peace River.
  • Production averaged 3,707 bbl/d; proved plus probable reserves at Peace River total 39.2 mmbbl.


  • Drilled 17 new horizontal producing wells bringing total number of producing wells to 25.
  • In August 2007 Baytex drills its first multi-lateral well (dual-leg).
  • Four new stratigraphic test wells drilled to identify extensions to the initial development area.
  • Production averaged 1,600 bbl/d; booked 28.7 mmbbl of proved plus probable reserves.


  • Drilled three stratigraphic test wells and two horizontal producing wells.
  • Initiated reservoir simulation study of enhanced oil recovery potential.
  • Production averaged 550 bbl/d; booked 13 mmbbl of proved plus probable reserves.


  • Added additional lands at Peace River.
  • Drilled four stratigraphic test wells and six horizontal producing wells.
  • Production averaged 500 bbl/d; booked 4 mmbbl of proved plus probable reserves.

1999 -

  • Acquired 96 sections of 100% owned and operated land.
  • Completed geological and geophysical work and identified drilling locations.
  • Drilled seven stratigraphic test wells.

Stratigraphic test wells at Peace River are expendable vertical wells drilled to a depth of about 600 metres to acquire full-section cores of the Bluesky oil sand. We measure the permeability of the formation and the viscosity of the oil it contains over the cored interval. These measurements indicate whether the Bluesky oil sand is amenable to cold production, thermal production, or both methods at the stratigrahic test well location.

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