Energy resources form the backbone of Alberta’s provincial economy. From the initial discovery and production of oil, natural gas and coal, through the characterization of our massive oil sands resource, to the identification of unconventional resources such as coalbed methane and shale gas, the AGS has been active creating maps and reports on the location, quantity and quality of hydrocarbon energy resources in the province. In addition to these resources, the potential for non-traditional earth-based energy resources, such as geothermal energy is also of interest to the AGS.

The current focus for energy resources is primarily on unconventional or low permeability deposits, where new horizontal drilling techniques, hydraulic fracturing, and water usage are of particular interest to the public, industry and government. These low permeability deposits include shales, tight sandstones and carbonate rocks.

Why and How We Map Resources

Resource assessment is needed to determine the type, amount and location of resources to assist in land use planning, water allocation and conservation, regulatory planning and procedure, and environmental stewardship.

Energy and mineral resources are first mapped within a geological framework to understand why the resource is located where it is and how it came to be there. To account for the uncertainty created by using limited data to model very large volumes of geology, we characterize the resource using probabilistic methods to estimate the size and quality range of the resource in place.

All resource reports specify in detail the methodology we used to characterize the resource. Any uncertainty associated with the variables used in resource volume calculations is clearly explained and resources are reported using an industry standard, modern classification system that identifies the distribution, size and potential of the resource.

For information about energy legislation, policies, royalties, processing, tenure, etc., visit the Alberta Energy website.