Petroleum Geosciences’ New Name and what it Means

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June 10, 2019

As of June 1, 2019, the “Petroleum Geosciences” group of the Northwest Territories Geological Survey (NTGS) has a new name – Energy Geosciences. This name change is more significant than you may think.

There has been an important social evolution of the past decades toward renewable and alternative energy resources. The GNWT acknowledges and embraces this shift in thinking – reflected in the NTGS Five-Year Strategic Plan. To better represent this shift,  the group has adopted the new name.

Although petroleum geoscience will remain a core activity of the Energy Geosciences group, the group’s research mandate is expanded to include alternative energy resources such as geothermal energy.

Geothermal is a renewable, clean energy resource that can be used for power generation and heating. The NWT may have geothermal energy potential within the distinct rock formations under our feet. There also could be  heating potential associated with deep warm water present in local mines.

Creative Commons photo of Liard Community with a photo inset of the first Deep Earth Energy Production Corp.(DEEP) geothermal energy test well in Saskatchewan. There are similar geothermal potential exploration targets in southern NWT.

During the 2018 Yellowknife Geoscience Forum, members of the NTGS team hosted some of Canada’s leading minds in a full day workshop on geothermal projects. The session offered yet another example of the work that is completed by NTGS to enhance understanding of geology in the territory.

Related Story: Leading Things on Geothermal Energy Sparks Conversation in Yellowknife

Manager of Energy Geosciences, Kathryn Fiess said, “It’s an exciting time for our team and the territory. We are embarking on a journey that we hope will lead to more renewable and affordable sources for the residents of the NWT.”

Geothermal work will be taken on by the Energy Geosciences team, Kathryn Fiess, Viktor Terakly, and  Johnathan Rocheleau.