Open File Report 1975-19

Author(s) Date 1974-12-31

At the request of Alberta Mines and Minerals (now Alberta Energy and Natural Resources) the Alberta Research Council undertook a four-well drilling program on the Department of National Defence, Primrose Lake Air Weapons Range. The objective of the program as outlined in the agreement between the Alberta Research Council and Alberta Mines and Minerals was as follows: ' To locate and determine the extent of oil sands resources in that region of the Province of Alberta located within the boundaries of the Primrose Lake Air Weapons Range.'

A proposal for four wells designed to evaluate the southeastern corner of the weapons range was submitted by the Alberta Research Council to Alberta Mines and Minerals on September 4, 1974 and approved by Alberta Mines and Minerals on the condition that the $ 250,000 budgeted for fiscal year 1974-75 would not be exceeded.

The Primrose Lake Air Weapons Range encompasses an area of about 1990 square miles and is located approximately 180 miles northeast of Edmonton along the Alberta-Saskatchewan border. The Range is leased by the Department of National Defence from the Province of Alberta and is primarily used for air weapons testing and associated personnel training. Access to the range is limited, however, some trails do exist. The nearest settlements are the towns of Cold Lake and Grand Centre. Canadian Forces Base Cold Lake, which controls all access to the weapons range, is located just outside the town of Grand Centre.

The four wells were drilled on the weapons range between January 15 and February 15, 1975. Figure 2 shows the location of these wells, plus one additional well (3A) which had to be abandoned at a depth of 401 feet because of hole problems. Four wells were drilled through the Mannville Formation into the underlying Devonian limestones. Well cutting samples were collected at 30-foot intervals within the drift and at 10-foot intervals below the drift to total depth. Surface casing was set in each of the four wells. Geophysical logs (Dual Induction Focussed log, Compensated Density log and Compensated Neutron log) were run on each well except 1-74 where only the Dual Induction and Density logs were run, because of technical problems. Sidewall cores were taken where geophysical logs and cutting samples indicated the presence of oil. One drillstem test was run on well 2-74. All wells were abandoned by cementing from total depth to surface. Total cost of the drilling program was $ 240,321.26. Access to the wellsites was provided by an all weather road from Cold Lake around Primrose Lake and then an existing trail from Primrose Lake to Canoe Lake and to wellsite 4-74, which was previously a bombing site.

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Alberta Research Council (1975): Primrose Lake Air Weapons Range oil sands evaluation program, 1974-1975 - final report; Alberta Research Council, ARC/AGS Open File Report 1975-19, 56 p.