New publication series highlights research behind petroleum plays

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The vast petroleum potential of the Northwest Territories (NWT) is often touted as world-class and a new publication series is now taking the lead on sharing the scientific information behind this resource.

The Petroleum Play Summaries will be published by the Department of Industry, Tourism and Investment’s (ITI) Northwest Territories Geological Survey (NTGS). Each publication in the series will provide a snapshot of oil and gas potential in distinct exploration areas based on existing and newly compiled published research. 

Viktor Terlaky, Senior Petroleum Geologist with the NTGS explains, “These summaries will be a useful tool for industry and stakeholders who want to get a quick overview of areas with potential, without having to dig through numerous publications for base data. When companies are looking to explore and invest in the NWT, the Petroleum Play Summaries will be a great resource for quick identification of new exploration play areas worthy of further scoping activities.”

The data in the summaries is wide-ranging and includes topics such as: structural geology, trap type and timing, reservoir type and quality, source rock quality and maturity, the presence of hydrocarbons, hydrocarbon type, play areal extent and seals.

The first of the series describes the Canol Formation and Bluefish Member Shale Play in the Central Mackenzie Valley, an area that includes the community of Norman Wells, which has a lengthy history of oil production. The Norman Wells oil pool began production in 1920 and has since produced 274 million barrels of oil. 

NTGS is focused on unconventional and conventional new play identification and documentation from the Liard Basin to Cameron Hills and north into the Peel Plain and Plateau. Play summaries will be created for new areas as a body of research is completed for that region. The focus of the second Petroleum Play Summary will be the Liard Basin Shale Gas Play and is scheduled for publication in the second half of 2017.

Visit the NTGS website to download the summaries.

The NTGS is a unique, science-mandated division within ITI. The division advances geoscience knowledge of the NWT through research, analysis and digital data. Click here to learn more about the NTGS.