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TitlePetroleum resource potential of the Hecate Strait / Queen Charlotte Sound Glass Sponge Reef areas of interest, Pacific Margin of Canada
LicencePlease note the adoption of the Open Government Licence - Canada supersedes any previous licences.
AuthorHannigan, P KORCID logo; Dietrich, J R
SourceGeological Survey of Canada, Open File 6860, 2012, 35 pages, Open Access logo Open Access
PublisherNatural Resources Canada
Documentopen file
Mediaon-line; digital
RelatedThis publication is related to Mineral resource assessment of the Pacific Margin sponge reef areas of interest
File formatpdf
ProvinceWestern offshore region
AreaHecate Strait; Queen Charlotte Sound; Pacific Margin
Lat/Long WENS-131.5000 -128.0000 53.5000 51.0000
Subjectsfossil fuels; structural geology; stratigraphy; petroleum resources; petroleum exploration; petroleum generation; hydrocarbon maturation; hydrocarbon generation; hydrocarbon migration; hydrocarbon potential; source rocks; exploration history; sedimentary basins; oil; gas; basin analyses; reefs; reef deposits; Hecate Basin; Queen Charlotte Basin; Sponges; Mesozoic; Cretaceous; Cenozoic; Tertiary
Illustrationslocation maps; cross-sections; stratigraphic columns; graphs; profiles; photographs
ProgramMineral and Energy Resource Assessment (MERA)
Released2012 08 17 (13:00)
The conventional and unconventional oil and gas resource potential of the Hecate Strait/Queen Charlotte Sound sponge reef areas of interest on the Pacific margin of Canada are described in this report. The sponge reef areas of interest encompass an area of approximately 1600 square kilometres in relatively shallow water on the Pacific continental shelf in Hecate Strait and Queen Charlotte Sound. Parts of two major sedimentary basins (Cretaceous Hecate Basin and Tertiary Queen Charlotte Basin) are found within the areas of interest, both of which have oil and gas potential. Conditions are favourable for the stability of specific types of natural gas hydrates in the sponge reef areas of interest and adjacent areas of the Pacific continental margin.
Qualitative evaluations of petroleum prospectivity indicate that the sponge reef areas of interest have varying petroleum potential. The northern sponge reef area of interest (AOI-1) is located in a region that is considered to have mainly high petroleum potential. The central sponge reef area of interest (AOI-2) occurs within a region that has a mainly low petroleum potential with a small part of AOI-2 covering in a region that is considered non-prospective for petroleum resources. The southern sponge reef area of interest (AOI- 3) is located in a region of high petroleum potential.
Based on a modified areal apportionment of resource potential of previously defined conventional petroleum plays, high-confidence quantitative estimates of petroleum potential for the sponge reef areas of interest are as follows: northern area of interest (AOI-1) - 8 x 106 m3 (50 MMbbls) of oil and 6.8 x 109 m3 (240 BCF) of gas (mean values of in-place volumes); central area of interest (AOI-2) - 4 x 106 m3 (25 MMbbls) of oil and 0.7 x 109 m3 (24 BCF) of gas; southern area of interest (AOI-3) - 2.5 x 106 m3 (18 MMbbls) oil and 1.0 x 109 m3 (35 BCF) of gas. Speculative estimates of petroleum potential in the areas of interest are the following: AOI-1 - 884 x 106 m3 (5560 MMbbls) of oil and 329 x 109 m3 (11.6 TCF) of gas; AOI-2 – 166 x 106 m3 (1044 MMbbls) of oil and 38 x 109 m3 (1.3 TCF) of gas; AOI-3 - 435 x 106 m3 (2736 MMbbls) of oil and 154 x 109 m3 (5.4 TCF) of gas (mean in-place volumes). The high-confidence and speculative estimates reflect two resource-distribution scenarios; the high-confidence scenario assumes the largest oil or gas fields for the defined plays occur outside the proposed AOI, and the speculative scenario assumes the largest fields for the defined plays are located within the proposed AOI. Since these areas of interest encompass a relatively small part of the total area of assessed geological plays, the high-confidence scenarios (largest fields outside the AOI) are the most likely situation. The speculative scenarios (largest fields inside the AOI) have a low probability of occurrence. The central AOI (AOI-2) occurs in a geological setting that is much less favourable for petroleum resource than is expected in AOI-1 or AOI-3. The speculative resource estimate for AOI-2 is considered the most unlikely scenario (lowest probability of occurrence) of the three areas of interest.
Gas hydrate, a solid form of natural gas and water, is inferred to occur widely in the Pacific continental margin region. Three modes of gas hydrate occurrences may develop in this region. Type 1 and Type 3 hydrates may occur in the areas of interest; however, only the pervasive Type 2 gas hydrate accumulations (below 300 m water depth) can be assessed for resource potential. All identified sponge reefs are found inrelatively shallow water depths and Type 2 methane hydrates are not stable under these conditions. Thus, gas hydrate potential is not quantifiable in the areas of interest.

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