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The AAPG/Datapages Combined Publications Database

AAPG Bulletin


Volume: 60 (1976)

Issue: 8. (August)

First Page: 1343

Last Page: 1354

Title: Developments in Western Canada in 1975

Author(s): John R. Ower (2)


The decrease in activity which took place in 1974 leveled off in 1975 because of the more favorable economic climate resulting from actions, particularly of the Alberta and British Columbia Provincial Governments, to encourage exploration and development. A total of 3,946 exploratory and development wells was drilled, a minor decrease from 1974. Although exploratory drilling decreased 5.5%, development drilling increased 6.4%.

There were 103 oil discoveries and 539 gas discoveries for an exploratory success ratio of 41.6%; 681 development wells were completed as oil producers and 1,541 as gas producers for a development success ratio of 86.6%.

Alberta maintained its exploratory and development activity levels, with an emphasis on gas exploration. A new area, Haig River, became a region of intense activity for shallow Cretaceous gas. There also is increasing interest in the deeper part of the Alberta basin and the Foothills disturbed belt. Both Saskatchewan and British Columbia continued to show a decline in exploratory drilling, although this may be temporary for British Columbia.

Exploratory drilling decreased somewhat in the Arctic Islands, but maintained the same level in the Mackenzie delta. Although there were no new discoveries in the Arctic Islands, a successful confirmation well was drilled to the Panarctic Bent Horn oil discovery of last year, and significant extensions were made to 2 Arctic Island gas fields. In the Mackenzie delta, 4 multiple-zone oil and gas discoveries and outposts resulted from 17 exploratory wells.

Geophysical activity started to increase in Alberta and remained strong in the Northwest Territories--Arctic, but was at a low level elsewhere.

Production of liquid hydrocarbons was down by 12.9%, largely because of limitations placed on export to the United States. The production of gas leveled off, with a small increase of domestic sales being offset by a small decline in export sales.

Proved reserves of crude oil continue to decline because of a lack of major discoveries. Natural-gas-liquid reserves declined slightly. Proved natural gas reserves, after production, increased by 0.4% because of the aggressive exploration program in Alberta. Probable natural gas reserves increased even more by the addition of 5.9 Tcf of probable gas reserves in the Arctic Islands.

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