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Tulsa Geological Society


Tulsa Geological Society Digest
Vol. 31 (1963), Pages 242-243

Geology and Oil Prospects of the Canadian Artic Islands: Abstract

J. C. Sproule1


The main presentation consists of a showing of colour slides taken in the Canadian Arctic Islands. The subject material in these slides bears on the geology itself and also on an understanding of the terrain and access and other operational problems, which is basic to any consideration of the geology and related oil prospects.

The sedimentary basin described is over 1,100 miles long in a northeast-southwest direction by about 450 miles wide. The land area that is potentially oil-bearing amounts to one hundred million acres or more. The geology is exceptionally well exposed, as a result of which, by studying the geology, it should be possible to carry the preliminary phases of an exploration program far beyond the state at which drilling for oil normally commences. It is, therefore, hoped that Industry will be able to take advantage of the excellent rock exposures by selecting drilling sites that are more promising than is normal to areas that are covered with glacial drift, alluvium and other superficial material.

The present situation is that numerous oil indications are known and that structures capable of reservoiring oil are widespread, numerous and varied. The prospects of these basins are, therefore, promising, assuming transportation facilities and satisfactory markets for the oil.

The principal potential outlets for Arctic Islands oil are European and Montreal, Canada, markets. The latter is presently satisfied from foreign offshore crudes.

A large part of the Central Islands area can be reached by surface craft for about three months of the year and the Eastern Islands area for about eight months. Improvements in ice-breaker facilities or submarine tankage are both matters of engineering rather than scientific advances, and it is believed transportation problems could be solved with relatively little effort, given the necessary incentive.


Acknowledgments and Associated Footnotes

1 Consultant, Calgary, Alberta, Canada and President, American Association of Petroleum Geologists

November 12, 1962

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