BlackPearl Resources has received approval from Alberta's Energy Resources Conservation Board (ERCB) to proceed with development of the first phase of its polymer flood at Mooney heavy oil project.

ERCB has also approved the company’s application for the construction and operation of its steam assisted gravity drainage (SAGD) pilot at Blackrod project in the Athabasca Oil Sands.

At Mooney, engineering and design of the polymer and water handling facilities has been on-going and the company plans to immediately proceed to field preparation and construction of these facilities.

In addition, half of the 44 currently producing wells will be converted to injectors, and polymer injection is expected to commence during the first quarter of 2011.

The company anticipates oil production response six to twelve months after initial injection.

The Alberta Department of Energy has approved enhanced oil recovery status for a portion of the Mooney field, which will initially reduce the royalty burden on Mooney production volumes as a result of the flood. Initial royalty rates are expected to be approximately 10%.

At Blackrod, as a result of receiving all necessary regulatory approvals, the company plans to drill the SAGD horizontal well pair within the next 30 days, as well as begin construction of the oil handling facilities and install the previously completed steam generation equipment.

BlackPearl anticipates commencement of steam injection at Blackrod before the end of the first quarter of 2011, and initial results of the pilot are expected late in 2011.