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Play Fairway Evaluation of the Eastern Nova Scotia Passive Margin – New Data, New Insights


In 2011 OETR (Offshore Energy technology Research Association) and the Department of Energy of Nova Scotia published a comprehensive analysis of the hydrocarbon systems and resource potential offshore Nova Scotia. This applied a detailed and rigorous sequence stratigraphic based play fairway analysis methodology as well as integration of a thorough study of the relevant conjugate margins. This play fairway analysis is in the public domain (2011 PFA). Since then exploration offshore Nova Scotia has been re-energised with new seismic activity and drilling expected over the next few years. The Eastern part of the margin (commonly referred to as the Banquereau Syn-kinematic wedge - BSW) has a particularly complex Upper Jurassic history. New well data has recently been released to the east of this area within the jurisdiction of the Province of Newfoundland and Labrador. These wells (Bandol-1 and East Wolverine G-37) both penetrated the Upper Jurassic section and provide key calibration data for the understanding of the BSW. The Eastern part of the Scotian passive margin has particularly complicated tectonic history because of the interaction of a major Jurassic delta system with a syn/post-rift autochthonous salt basin. The late Jurassic delta displaces salt basin-wards leading to an anomalously thick upper Jurassic section with a very complex structural style. Integration of new data accessed from the adjacent Newfoundland part of the Laurentian Basin suggests a revised interpretation of this geological interval. This paper presents an update of the 2011 PFA applying the same approach and integrating new well and seismic data to the east of the BSW. This has resulted in a significant re-interpretation of the Upper Jurassic in this area, which has a profound affect on the petroleum systems history of source rocks in this interval. The study includes a thorough re-assessment of the biostratigraphy and geochemistry of a number of key wells. This together with the revised tectono-stratigraphic interpretation leads to a new view on the charge history in the area of the BSW with impact on the expected gas/liquid ratios predicted from the Upper Jurassic source rocks.