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Reuters Canada: Shell Canada pays C$85 mln for B.C. acreage

Reuters Canada: Shell Canada pays C$85 mln for B.C. acreage

Friday 24 June 2005

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Shell Canada Ltd. has acquired a large tract of land in northeastern British Columbia for C$85 million ($69 million) as it looks to repeat recent gas drilling success, the company said on Thursday.

Shell Canada, the country’s No. 2 oil producer and refiner, said it picked up 58,000 acres in the Deep Basin area and it expects to start drilling next winter.

The company has been boosting exploration efforts in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains, and in 2004 made a large gas discovery after reexamining lands it has drilled for years.

The Tay River discovery in western Alberta uncovered estimated reserves of 650 billion to 850 billion cubic feet, making it one of the biggest Canadian onshore finds in recent years.

At the Reuters Energy Summit in New York this week, Shell Canada chief executive Clive Mather said his company expects to at least maintain spending levels on gas exploration along the Rockies due to his belief there is much more gas to be found.

“We certainly are determined to prove ourselves right or wrong,” Mather said.

The Canadian arm of Royal Dutch/Shell Group said the 12 new parcels, acquired in a British Columbia government land sale, are adjacent to acreage in neighboring Alberta it acquired last year.

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