Our focus has always been to increase the efficiency of our oil production; whether we are able to increase per-well production, lower capital expenditures, or both, we always aim to improve our returns. Technological advancements such as these allow us to increase our recovery factors while potentially lowering our decline rates and operating costs.
Our approach has yielded positive results over the years and our latest efforts continue to motivate us to invest in our technology portfolio. Innovation has become an essential part of the oil and gas industry and Lightstream Resources plans to continue to be at the forefront of the practical application of the innovation curve.
In southeast Saskatchewan, Lightstream is using natural gas injection for Enhanced Oil Recovery (EOR). Over time, the pressure in a produced reservoir decreases. This causes production to decrease slowly or even stop. To increase pressure back to a rate that stimulates production, Lightstream injects natural gas into the reservoir. This also decreases the tension between the water and oil particles in the reservoir which increases displacement efficiency.
Lightstream now has four wells on natural gas injection. We continue to be encouraged by the results we are seeing, which resulted in additional reserves being recognized at the end of 2013. In 2014, we will be increasing the amount of acreage under injection and expect to have two additional patterns online by year-end, with wells and infrastructure in place for two additional patterns to be added in early 2015.
While natural gas has been injector fluid tested, Lightstream is also evaluating water-flood techniques. In 2014 we will commence a conventional Mississippian water flood pilot in southeast Saskatchewan as well as initiating pilot patterns targeting both natural gas and water injection in the Cardium.
In 2012, we began an optimization program in southeast Saskatchewan to increase the production efficiency of our existing wells. Optimization involves re-enterring an existing well bore and applying technology such as millouts, cleanouts, high volume lift installations or casing gas compressor installations. To-date we have optimized over 300 wells, which have shown increased production and mitigated declines.
Optimizing a well is an extremely capital efficient project that delivers measurable results, making it very attractive to Lightstream. In 2014, we will spend $30 million on optimizations in southeast Saskatchewan. Going forward, we anticipate expanding the production to our Cardium asset.
When drilling horizontal wells, Lightstream has the opportunity to drill multiple wells from a single location. This allows the company to realized economic efficiencies and leads to greater environmental and community stewardship. By using this approach Lightstream is able to:
In the Cardium play, we have used slick water fracturing. Slick water fracturing is a stimulation process where a specially designed water and sand proppant solution is injected into a horizontal well under high pressure to enable the flow of trapped oil through the fracture channels created. Early on, we were pioneers of this technology. We were one of the first operators to test and deploy this technology in the Cardium, typically resulting in 25% lower completion costs with better production flow rates and reserve recognition. Today, it is the industry standard.