By September 27, 2017 Read More →

Alberta Duvernay Shale has significant potential for oil and natural gas – NEB

duvernay shale

Duvernay Shale map

Duvernay Shale has more marketable oil resource than Bakken Formation in Saskatchewan

The NEB estimates Alberta’s Duvernay Shale has the potential to produce 3.4 billion barrels of marketable crude oil, 76.6 trillion cubic feet of marketable natural gas, and 6.3 billion barrels of marketable natural gas liquids (NGLs).

The Duvernay Shale was deposited as organic-rich mudstone, a fine-grained rock, that extends beneath 130,000 square kilometers of Alberta, or about 20 per cent of the province.

Tight natural gas and oil resources are trapped in the fine pores of the rock, and can be extracted through a combination of horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing.

The Duvernay’s resources are located near existing pipelines, including natural gas pipelines that connect natural gas markets within Canada and between Canada and the United States (U.S.).

duvernay shale

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The Duvernay Shale is expected to have more marketable oil resource (3.4 billion barrels) than the Bakken Formation in Saskatchewan (1.4 billion barrels) and Montney Formation in Alberta and B.C. (1.1 billion barrels).

“This new assessment further solidifies our understanding of the extensive – and increasingly abundant – natural gas and oil resources in Alberta. Studies like this one also demonstrate the collaboration between the NEB and other government agencies. And they enable all governments to be better informed when building policy around resource development and energy markets,” said Peter Watson, Chair & CEO, National Energy Board.

However, the Duvernay’s oil resource is much smaller than the remaining bitumen reserves in Alberta’s oil sands (165 billion barrels).

The Duvernay’s marketable gas resource (76.6 Tcf) is smaller than other unconventional gas resources in the Western Canada Sedimentary Basin, such as the Montney Formation (449 Tcf), Liard Basin – (219 Tcf) and Horn River Basin (78 Tcf).

Table 1. Summary of Duvernay Shale marketable resources
Marketable Resource Metric Gas: trillion m³
Oil and NGLs: billion m³
Imperial Gas: Tcf
Oil and NGLs: billion barrels
Low Expected High Low Expected High
Gas 0.963 2.168 3.713 34.021 76.567 131.132
Oil 263.1 542.2 895.0 1.655 3.411 5.629
NGLs 446.7 994.6 1699.5 2.810 6.256 10.690
Ethane 241.1 539.5 922.0 1.516 3.394 5.799
Propane 116.0 257.85 440.2 0.730 1.622 2.769
Butane 57.1 126.41 215.4 0.360 0.795 1.355
Pentanes plus 32.3 70.81 120.14 0.203 0.456 0.756
“Low” and “high”, as used here, refer to a range where there is reasonably high confidence that marketable volumes from the Duvernay shale will fall inside it.

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