Devonian Gas Exploration in Northeastern British Columbia: Geology, Operations and Economics
- F.F. Gray (Northern Petroleum Consultants Ltd.) | J.R. Kassube (Northern Petroleum Consultants Ltd.) | J.H. Van de Venter (Northern Petroleum Consultants Ltd.)
- Document ID
- Petroleum Society of Canada
- Journal of Canadian Petroleum Technology
- Publication Date
- December 1962
- Document Type
- Journal Paper
- 175 - 179
- 1962. Petroleum Society of Canada
- 5.4.6 Thermal Methods, 5.1.5 Geologic Modeling, 2 Well Completion, 2.1.1 Perforating, 1.8 Formation Damage, 1.6 Drilling Operations, 1.10 Drilling Equipment, 4.2 Pipelines, Flowlines and Risers, 5.2.1 Phase Behavior and PVT Measurements, 1.2.3 Rock properties
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Following indications of Devonian gas in several widely scatterednortheastern British Columbia wildcats drilled between 1954 and 1956, anaggressive programme of exploration for Middle Devonian gas was begun in theFort Nelson area in the winter of 1956-57. Since this time the explorationeffort for Devonian gas has steadily increased, with new operators entering theplay, and new discoveries being added each year.
All of these discoveries to date are in Middle Devonian beds, with theexception of the Pacific-Imperial Parkland well, which produces from the UpperDevonian Wabamun formation on the Peace River Arch. The discoveries lieentirely in the Plains area with the exception of Beaver River, which is in thefolded belt at the extreme northern edge of the Province.
Most of the MiddleDevonian fields discovered to date are in reefalcarbonates associated with the rim of a shale embayment which extends southeastinto British Columbia from the Yukon territory. Exploration for these fields isguided by a combination of seismic and subsurface stratigraphic methods. Faciesanalysis is particularly important to delineate favourable carbonateenvironments.
Seismic operations and costs run about $70,000.00 per month and are affectedsignificantly by local terrain and weather conditions. Construction andmaintenance of access roads and trucking of rigs and supplies into the bush arealso major exploration expenses. In the drilling of exploratory wells forMiddle Devonian gas, it has been common practice to set 300 feet of 13 3/8"surface casing, 2000 to 2500 feet of 9 5/8"intermediate casing through upperMississippian porous carbonates, 7" casing to the top of the Slave Pointformation, and a 5" liner through the productive zone. Development wells can becompleted in open hole beneath the 7" casing, usually giving higher absoluteopen flow and deliverability rates.
With increasing activity drilling costs have been steadily reduced. In theimmediate area of Fort Nelson wells can now be drilled to the Slave Point in 20to 25 days for as little as $100,000.00 and an open hole completion made for$150,000.00. At more remote locations, costs have been appreciably higher.
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