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The AAPG/Datapages Combined Publications Database

CSPG Bulletin


Bulletin of Canadian Petroleum Geology
Vol. 37 (1989), No. 3. (September), Pages 334-345

Oil and Gas Developments in Western Canada in 1987

M.H. Portigal, R.M. Creed, J.R. Hogg, M.D. Hewitt


Exploratory drilling in western Canada increased by 21% in 1987 whereas total drilling increased by 32%. The seismic crew count increased 4% to 671 crew-months, and land expenditures increased 166% to $793 million.2

No major plays broke during 1987 in western Canada. The 2 major plays resulting from 1986 activity -- Previous HitCarolineNext Hit, Alberta, and Tableland, Saskatchewan -- continued to expand in 1987. By year end at Previous HitCarolineNext Hit, industry drilled 14 wells, which included 6 Swan Hills gas wells, 3 uphole gas wells, 3 wells standing or suspended, and 2 dry holes. The reserves for this field now are 17 billion m3 of gas sales, 32 million m3 of condensate, and 20 million MT of sulfur. At Tableland and surrounding areas, industry has drilled 11 oil wells and 16 dry holes. No overall reserve figures have been published for this play.

In Alberta, operators had their best exploratory oil success in the Cretaceous Second White Specks and in the Devonian Nisku, Leduc, Gilwood, and Keg River; the best exploratory gas success was in the Cretaceous Viking and Paddy, and Devonian Nisku and Leduc. In British Columbia, gas drilling was successful in the Cretaceous of the Deep Basin, as well as in the Mississippian Kiskatinaw and the Triassic Halfway. In Saskatchewan, both the shallow Cretaceous gas play and the deep Devonian Winnipegosis oil play continued to expand, whereas in Manitoba the main exploration target was the Mississippian carbonates and Bakken Formation. The North-west Territories, Beaufort Sea, and Arctic Islands had a poor year, with only 4 exploratory wells drilled -- all dry holes.


Le nombre des forages d'exploration dans l'Ouest canadien augmenta de 21% en 1987, tandis que le nombre total des forages augmenta de 32%. Le nombre d'equipes sismiques augmenta de 4% jusqu'a 671 equipes-mois, et les depenses pour l'acquisition de terrains augmenta de 166% jusqu'a 793 $ millions.

Aucune zone prospective importante ne vit le jour dans l'Ouest canadien durant 1987. Les deux regions prospectives importantes qui furent decouvertes durant 1986 - Previous HitCarolineNext Hit, Alberta, et Tableland, Saskatchewan - continuerent leur expansion en 1987. A la fin de l'annee dans la region de Previous HitCarolineTop, quatorze puits avaient ete fores, incluant six puits de gaz Swan Hills, trois puits de gaz produisant de strates au-dessus de la formation Swan Hills, trois puits a l'arret ou en suspension, et deux puits secs. Dans ce champs de gaz naturel les reserves de gaz vendable sont a present de 17 milliards de m3, 32 millions de m3 de condensat, et 20 millions de tonnes metriques de soufre. Dans la region de Tableland et ses environs, onze puits d'huile et seize puits secs ont ete fores. Les reserves totales pour Tableland ne sont pas publiees.

En Alberta, les compagnies petrolieres enregistrerent le plus grand succes du cote de l'exploration pour l'huile dans la formation Cretacee Second White Specks et dans les formations Devoniennes Nisku, Leduc, Gilwood et Keg River; les plus grands succes de l'exploration furent les formations Cretacees Viking et Paddy, et les formations Devoniennes Nisku et Leduc. En Colombie britannique, les forages pour le gaz connurent le succes dans le bassin profond ("Deep Bassin") du Cretace, ainsi que dans la formation Mississipienne Kiskatinaw et la formation Triasique Halfway. En Saskatchewan, les deux zones d'exploration prometteuses, c'est-a-dire le gaz peu profond du Cretace et l'huile de la formation Devonienne profonde Winnipegosis, continuerent de prendre de l'expansion; au Manitoba, les buts principaux de l'exploration furent les roches carbonatees et la formation Bakken Mississipiennes. Les regions des Territoires du Nord-Ouest, de la mer de Beaufort et des iles de l'Arctique connurent une annee mediocre avec seulement quatre puits d'exploration fores - tous des puits secs.

Traduit par Marc Charest

1 Reproduced with permission from the American Association of Petroleum Geologists Bulletin, v. 72, no. 10B (October 1988), p. 168-179.

Valuable data were obtained from Canadian Oil Scouts Association, Oilweek, and Nickle's Daily Oil Bulletin. Appreciation is extended to B.J. Boyce and D.C. Robertson for reviewing the original manuscript, to Sheila Davidson for typing the original manuscript, and to the Petro-Canada and Unocal drafting departments.

2 Money in Canadian dollars.

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