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Portions of the Provinces of New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, and Newfoundland, bordering the Gulf of St. Lawrence, are underlain by sediments of Ordovician and Mississippian age in which manifestations of hydrocarbons occur.
Although some oil is present in the Ordovician in Newfoundland, the prospects for finding commercial fields in rocks of this age do not appear to be promising. In New Brunswick one small oil and gas field has produced from the Mississippian since 1909. At several localities throughout the Maritimes region oil seepages occur and showings of oil and gas have been obtained in wells which penetrated the Mississippian rocks. In general the Mississippian consists of conglomerates and sandstones, a thick series of shales, a large percentage of which are bituminous, followed in ascending order by a carbonate-evaporite-red-bed sequence that was repeated a number of times. There are present in the basin a number of stratigraphic and structural features, namely diapir salt structures, salt domes fault blocks, anticlines, porosity pinch-outs; sand lenses, and other types considered as favorable for the trapping of oil and gas.
The stratigraphic and structural conditions are complex, and although the results of exploration to date have not been encouraging, this region must still be considered as worthy of further investigation.
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