Presentation 2017-004

Author(s) Date 2017-04-03

As the upstream oil and gas sector continues to develop shale-gas plays in the Duvernay and Montney formations, there is a growing demand for water and in turn, groundwater information in west-central Alberta. To support inventory mapping and inform groundwater management decisions, an understanding of saline groundwater at the basin scale is required. At this scale, regional hydrogeological mapping plays a major role in evaluating deep saline aquifer potential for source water as well as disposal zones for production fluids. Recently, the Alberta Geological Survey has reinvigorated regional hydrogeological mapping, with a focus on the physical and chemical properties of water-bearing geological units within west-central Alberta. The study area is centered on the Fox Creek area and spans from Twp.70 R.5 W6 in the northwest to Twp. 52 R.7 W5 in the southeast. Maps of salinity, hydraulic head, and Water Driving Force (WDF) were created from publicly available data, for 22 formations spanning from the Wapiti Formation down to the Precambrian basement. The workflow applies a rigorous culling procedure and accounts for two important aspects in regional-scale hydrogeological mapping: (i) the influence of production/injection effects; and, (ii) the potential effects of density-driven flow. The resulting series of maps provide a common data source for industry and the regulators to interpret regional flow patterns and make informed decisions about groundwater conditions. This presentation will provide some insight into the methodology and results of the hydrogeological mapping in this area.

NTS Keywords

WaterTech, 2017