Over the first two months of 2013, two compressor expansion projects were completed. An additional 10 MMcf/d of compression was added to the Nosehill Plant taking the facility capacity to 120 MMcf/d. In addition, another 10 MMcf/d of compression was added to the Wildhay Plant taking it to a capacity of 70 MMcf/d.
Three plant construction projects are in the early stage of equipment fabrication with field work anticipated for the summer of 2013 and start-ups ranging from late summer to fall. The first project is a 30 MMcf/d addition to the Swanson Plant (taking it to 60 MMcf/d) for the accommodation of Ansell area growth volumes. In addition to the plant expansion, a 50 km strategic pipeline from Ansell to Swanson is currently under construction with targeted completion after breakup. The second project is a new Oldman North Plant to be located adjacent to the existing 125 MMcf/d Oldman Plant and initially designed for 40 MMcf/d. This plant will handle ongoing Cardium and Falher horizontal well development. A third new facility is planned for mid-fall for a new step-out area of Wilrich development that is presently undergoing early stage delineation drilling.
The Oldman Deep Cut facility built at the end of 2012 was successfully brought online in mid-January. The plant is currently running just below its 80 MMcfd raw gas capacity as some final re-compression tuning occurs for the four new compressors. The overall Oldman LPG recovery level has increased from a pre-Deep Cut level of 1,600 bbl/d to a present level of 2,400 bbl/d at the current -75 degrees C operating level for the Deep Cut train. With continued tuning of the re-compression, throughput will be brought up and chilling will be dropped towards the -80 degrees C design level to realize the full 2,600 bbl/d of LPG.
As in most past years, Peyto tentatively plans to shut down its drilling operations over spring break-up which is contemplated to occur from early April to mid-May and resume its drilling program with nine rigs. Post break-up drilling will focus in the traditional Greater Sundance area with volumes filling the new Oldman North Plant, the Ansell area with volumes pipelined to the expanded Swanson Plant, and with some additional Northern Cardium drilling. The $450 to $500 million capital program is on pace and it is expected that target 2013 exit production levels of 62,000 to 67,000 boe/d will be reached.
2013 is forecast to be the most active in the Company's history. It also comes at a time when the majority of natural gas producers in North America are challenged by low natural gas prices and high costs, rendering many plays uneconomic. Over its history, Peyto has maintained a unique low cost advantage that allows the Company to profitably grow its asset base, despite lower commodity prices, taking advantage of lower service and material costs. In effect, Peyto can be "greedy when others are fearful" and capture new opportunities when others are cutting capital budgets and rationalizing assets. This prevailing economic condition is forecast to continue throughout 2013 allowing Peyto the opportunity to deliver the same superior total returns to shareholders as in the past. Peyto's expertise in the Alberta Deep Basin will serve it well in this regard. The company's financial flexibility, quality asset base and strong balance sheet position Peyto to continue to be opportunistic. As always, capital investments will only be pursued if Peyto's high return objectives can be met.
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