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Prairie Lithium acquires oil wells set for abandonment

Published by
Global Mining Review,

Prairie Lithium Corporation (Prairie Lithium) has acquired three additional wells from a Saskatchewan based oil producer, that were set to be abandoned due to the wells limited oil production. Although the wells no longer have use for oil production, they do provide Prairie Lithium with the opportunity to access the production and disposal formations required for its lithium operations.

Prairie Lithium was approached by the Saskatchewan based oil and gas company, in February 2022, with a list of wells they planned to abandon. The wells were sold to Prairie Lithium for US$1 per well. This deal saved the oil and gas company the cost of abandoning the wells, and saved Prairie Lithium the cost of drilling entirely new wells.

Prairie Lithium’s subsurface team evaluated the list of potential acquisition wells. The first consideration was whether the wells could be deepened to the base of the Duperow Formation, Prairie Lithium’s primary lithium production target. This matters because, while many wells across Prairie Lithium’s mineral permits have been drilled through the Duperow Formation, the majority of oil and gas activity in Southeast Saskatchewan occurs above the Duperow Formation. The next consideration was whether the well could be perforated to test one of the company’s potential water disposal zones.

Prairie Lithium’s well field will include production wells, injection wells, and pressure monitoring wells. The short-listed wells were then inspected for environmental and regulatory considerations. Of the original well list, Prairie Lithium added three new well locations to their inventory which already included a well they drilled in 2021, and a well they acquired from DEEP Earth Energy Production Corp. in 2021. These agreements highlight the synergies occurring between the emerging lithium and geothermal sectors, and the robust oil industry in Saskatchewan.

Subject to final regulatory approvals, Prairie Lithium is currently procuring the equipment and services required to deepen and test one of the wells acquired through this deal. The plan is to deepen the well an additional 180 m. After the drilling is completed, the well will be cased, then perforated within the zones of interest. A three-day pump test, followed by a four to six-day build-up period will be completed to understand the productivity of the well across the zones of interest. Equally important to lithium concentration is the Duperow Formation’s ability to produce sufficient volumes of lithium-rich brine for long-term development. Approximately 600 m3 of lithium-rich brine is intended to be produced to support Prairie Lithium’s ongoing direct lithium extraction testing and research.

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