Open File Report 2012-06

Open File Report 2012-06

OFR 2012-06

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

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.