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November 5, 2012

Open File Report 2012-06

Summary of Alberta's Shale- and Siltstone-Hosted Hydrocarbon Resource Potential

Authors: Rokosh, C.D.; Lyster, S.; Anderson, S.D.A.; Beaton, A.P.; Berhane, H.; Brazzoni, T.; Chen, D.; Cheng, Y.; Mack, T.; Pana, C.; Pawlowicz, J.G.

Executive Summary

The Energy Resource Appraisal Group of the Energy Resources Conservation Board provides information related to the oil and gas resource endowment of Alberta. The intent of this report is to provide baseline data, information, and understanding of the geology, distribution, reservoir characteristics, and hydrocarbon resource potential of Alberta shales.

We examined several shale and siltstone formations in Alberta that exhibit favourable hydrocarbon resource characteristics. We determined the in-place resource estimates for the key shale and siltstone formations in Alberta that we think are most likely to be developed first. The geographic resource distribution, fluid types, and reservoir characteristics conducive to development were also determined.

Hydrocarbons hosted in conventional reservoirs were not included in this evaluation. In cases for which conventional, tight, and shale resources were present in a rock formation, only the shale- and siltstone-hosted hydrocarbons were evaluated.

We evaluated the geology, distribution, characteristics, and hydrocarbon potential of key shale and/or siltstone formations (units) in Alberta. Five units show immediate potential: the Duvernay Formation, the Muskwa Formation, the Montney Formation, the Nordegg Member, and the basal Banff and Exshaw formations (sometimes referred to as the Alberta Bakken by industry). The study also includes a preliminary assessment of the Colorado, Wilrich, Rierdon, and Bantry Shale units. These units were systematically mapped, sampled, and evaluated for their hydrocarbon potential. In total, 3385 samples were collected and evaluated for this summary report.

The results allow us to understand the size and distribution of shale-gas resources in Alberta and may be used to assist in the planning of resource allocation and conservation, commingling and rights assignment, royalty assessment, land and water use, and environmental stewardship.

Place Keywords: 72e; 72l; 72m; 73d; 73e; 73l; 73m; 74d; 74e; 74l; 74m; 82g; 82h; 82i; 82j; 82n; 82o; 82p; 83a; 83b; 83c; 83d; 83e; 83f; 83g; 83h; 83i; 83j; 83k; 83l; 83m; 83n; 83o; 83p; 84a; 84b; 84c; 84d; 84e; 84f; 84g; 84h; 84i; 84j; 84k; 84l; 84m; 84n; 84o; 84p; alberta; canada; western canada sedimentary basin

Theme Keywords: banff formation; duvernay formation; exshaw formation; geology; montney formation; muskwa formation; natural gas; nordegg member; oil; resource assessment; shale; shale gas; wilrich member

Related Publications
Report Code Title
DIG 2013-0003 Rock Eval and Total Organic Carbon of Sedimentary Rocks in Alberta (tabular data, tab-delimited format)
DIG 2013-0015 Fluid Saturations of Alberta Geological Units for Shale- and Siltstone-Hosted Hydrocarbon Evaluation (tabular data, tab-delimited format)
DIG 2013-0016 Pycnometry of Alberta Geological Units for Shale- and Siltstone-Hosted Hydrocarbon Evaluation (tabular data, tab-delimited format)
OFR 2008-08 What is Shale Gas? An Introduction to Shale-Gas Geology in Alberta
OFR 2008-09 Geochemical and Sedimentological Investigation of the Colorado Group for Shale Gas Potential: Initial Results
OFR 2008-10 Geochemical and Sedimentological Investigation of Banff and Exshaw Formations for Shale Gas Potential: Initial Results
OFR 2008-11 Rock Eval, Total Organic Carbon, Adsorption Isotherms and Organic Petrography of the Colorado Group: Shale Gas Data Release
OFR 2008-12 Rock-Eval, Total Organic Carbon, Adsorption Isotherms and Organic Petrography of the Banff and Exshaw Formations: Shale Gas Data Release
OFR 2008-13 Mineralogy, Permeametry, Mercury Porosimetry and Scanning Electron Microscope Imaging of the Banff and Exshaw Formations: Shale Gas Data Release
OFR 2008-14 Mineralogy, Permeametry, Mercury Porosimetry and Scanning Electron Microscope Imaging of the Colorado Group: Shale Gas Data Release
OFR 2010-02 Mineralogy, Permeametry, Mercury Porosimetry, Pycnometry and Scanning Electron Microscope Imaging of Duvernay and Muskwa Formations: Shale Gas Data Release
OFR 2010-03 Mineralogy, Permeametry, Mercury Porosimetry, Pycnometry and Scanning Electron Microscope Imaging of the Montney Formation: Shale Gas Data Release
OFR 2010-04 Rock Eval, Total Organic Carbon and Adsorption Isotherms of the Duvernay and Muskwa Formations in Alberta: Shale Gas Data Release
OFR 2010-05 Rock Eval, Total Organic Carbon and Adsorption Isotherms of the Montney Formation in Alberta: Shale Gas Data Release
OFR 2010-06 Organic Petrography of the Duvernay and Muskwa Formations in Alberta: Shale Gas Data Release
OFR 2010-07 Organic Petrography of the Montney Formation in Alberta: Shale Gas Data Release