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TitleAlternative indicators to assess the distribution characteristics of methane, ethane, and propane derived from petroleum in the Montney Formation, Western Canada
AuthorCesar, JORCID logo; Mayor, B; Deblonde, C; Ardakani, O HORCID logo
SourceFuel vol. 294, 120524, 2021 p. 1-14,
Alt SeriesNatural Resources Canada, Contribution Series 20200657
Mediapaper; digital; on-line
File formatpdf; html
ProvinceAlberta; British Columbia
NTS83C; 83E; 83F; 83K; 83L; 83M; 83N; 84C; 84D; 84E; 84L; 93J; 93O; 93P; 94A; 94B; 94G; 94H; 94I; 94J
AreaGrande Prairie; Fort St. John
Lat/Long WENS-123.0000 -116.2500 58.2500 51.7500
Subjectsfossil fuels; geochemistry; Science and Technology; Nature and Environment; petroleum resources; hydrocarbons; gas; organic geochemistry; methane; ethane; propane; reservoir rocks; hydrocarbon migration; thermal alteration; tectonic history; burial history; crustal uplift; thermal maturation; Montney Formation; Western Canada Sedimentary Basin
Illustrationsplots; bar graphs; location maps; geoscientific sketch maps
ProgramGeoscience for New Energy Supply (GNES) Shale Reservoir Characterization
Released2021 03 12
AbstractUnderstanding fluid distribution within the most prolific low-permeability hydrocarbon reservoir of the Western Canadian Sedimentary Basin (WCSB), the Montney Formation, continues to be a challenge due to the complex history of hydrocarbon migration, which includes thermal alteration of hydrocarbons that migrated before maximum burial as well as more recent migration due to uplifting in the Eocene. In this study, we have assessed the occurrence of methane, ethane, and propane using parameters that are based on the possibility of molecular interconversion between C1-C3 alkanes. This approach allowed us to identify the boundary between two hydrocarbon plays within the Montney Formation based on the composition coefficient Q, and the compositional factors (C2H6)2 and (CH4).(C3H8), which are less susceptible to methane migration [particularly (C2H6)2]. One play is located primarily in Alberta and includes unconventional and conventional hydrocarbon fields; the second play is located exclusively in British Columbia and consists of unconventional hydrocarbon fields. Our new approach enables the identification of main hydrocarbon migration zones within conventional and unconventional sections (e.g. northeast, southeast, and central-west). Additionally, we used the C2/C3 ratio as a maturity indicator in the Montney Formation, which facilitates the identification of overpressure zones (to the southwest) and target areas for natural gas liquids (NGL) production (based on an estimated 1.5 %Ro). The assessment we have conducted can be further explored in other low-permeability hydrocarbon reservoirs.
Summary(Plain Language Summary, not published)
For the first time, the occurrence and distribution of gas hydrocarbons from a low-permeability reservoir in the Western Canadian Sedimentary Basin have been assessed using a geochemical equilibrium approach. The study provides new geochemical parameters to (i) define hydrocarbon plays, (ii) estimate thermal maturity, (iii) identify overpressure zones as well as target areas for natural-gas-liquids production, and (iv) identify main hydrocarbon migration zones.

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