Exploration Applications of High-Resolution Aeromagnetic (HRAM) Surveys in Western Canada
Image Interpretation Technologies, Calgary, AB
In the past decade, basement and sedimentary structures in the Western Canada have been thoroughly imaged by HRAM data. Low-relief structures in the WCSB and the Mackenzie Corridor are easily detected with HRAM data collected with fixed-wing airplane flying with 400-800 meters line spacing. On the other hand, the complex structures of the rugged mountains of the Canadian Rockies are best observed with helicopter-borne 3D gradient magnetic surveys collected with line spacing of 50 meters.
The first part of the talk illustrates the contributions of HRAM data to the discovery of two major fields in Western Canada: Summit Creek and Ladyfern. The Summit Creek field, discovered in 2004, is located in the Mackenzie Corridor about 50 km southwest of Norman Wells. The field consists of a buried anticline initially recognized with HRAM data and later constrained by 2D seismic. The Ladyfern gas field was discovered in January 2000 along the Slave Point bank margin in northeast British Columbia. The discovery also benefited from the availability of HRAM, which was used to identify regional strike-slip fault systems that led to the development of prolific HTD reservoirs in the Slave Point Formation.
The second part of the talk illustrates the contributions of HRAM data to the development of existing resource plays and individual fields in Western Canada, including: (1) detection of "sweet-spots" in the fractured Upper Devonian play of the Jean Marie Formation in northeast British Columbia; and (2) detection of fault-related pressure compartments in the thrusted anticlines of the Canadian Rockies.