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Evaluating the Shale Gas Resource Potential in Western Canada

Ross, Daniel JK and R. Marc Bustin
University of British Columbia, Vancouver, BC

     Unconventional gas resources in Canada are estimated to be in the order of several thousand TCF, a significant component of which is in gas shales. Realisation of these resources requires ingenuity, technology and comparatively high gas prices.
     Through much of western Canada and parts of eastern Canada potential gas shales exist in strata ranging from Ordovician to Late Cretaceous in age. Although vast resources of gas undoubtedly exist in these shales the amount of producible gas remains unknown and currently there is no gas production specifically attributed to gas shales in Canada. A significant component of the gas produced from shallow tight formations in eastern Alberta and adjacent Saskatchewan are fed from strata best defined as gas shales. In these gas shales larger reserves in place exist than have been attributed by use of conventional methods of reservoir analyses. If these reservoirs are evaluated as having a gas shale component, larger reserves could be booked and a more efficient development program with further down spacing would be warranted. The greatest potential for gas shale development in Canada is currently perceived to be in north eastern British Columbia where recent Crown land prices have locally exceeded $1000/ha. These mainly Devonian aged shales have been many characteristics in common with the highly productive Barnett Shale in the Fort Worth Basin.


AAPG Search and Discovery Article #90071 © 2007 AAPG Rocky Mountain Meeting, Snowbird, Utah