The last WotW focused on CBM, a shallow low pressure, dry gas play in the midst of well-developed infrastructure. Now we hop way up north to the Horn River Basin and have a look at the Evie – Otter Park – Muskwa (frequently referred to as the Horn River) play.
This is the ninth post in a series detailing how resource plays (basin-wide plays where hydrocarbons are the continuous phase) have often driven the Canadian oil and gas industry throughout its history. Links to the previous posts are provided at the bottom of this article.
Resource Play: Evie – Otter Park – Muskwa
Type Well: 200/c-024-D/094-O-09/00
Drilling/Completion Technology: Rotary/Horizontal/Multi-stage Hydraulically Fractured
Unlike many Resource Plays for which the term “shale gas” is a misnomer, for the Horn River this is a very apt description. The Horn River Basin covers an area of over 1.1 million hectares, and the targeted formation trio of Evie, Otter Park and Muskwa can range from 140 to close to 300 metres in thickness. With 1.1 Tcf of recoverable raw gas reserves, the Horn River represents over a quarter of BC’s remaining reserves.
The wellbore display for 200/b-077-H/094-O-08/00 illustrates the nature of the Horn River strata. Details on the organic geochemistry and lithology may be found in Barker (2014).
As with all resource plays, understanding geomechanics is critical to successful development. While the dipmeter interpretation doesn’t reveal much structure in the way of bedding, a look at the high-quality image log reveals a well-developed natural fracture set dipping steeply to the East and present in all three target formations.
The entire image log is available to Petro Ninja subscribers by selecting 26936_WL_2011SEP25_BOREHOLE IMAGED INTERP.PDF.
The Horn River features some very impressive wells, evidence of which is given by the 200-c-024-D/094-O-09-00 production forecast which predicts an EUR of over 33 bcf. Low decline. Minimal water. Over-pressured. Looks like we have another resource play!
Current drilling is sufficient to outline the potential of the Horn River. An active LNG project is the likely key to full development of this resource.
Another impediment to further development is the relatively high concentration of acid gas (CO2 ~ 13%).
This high CO2 is a result of significant over-maturation of the kerogens brought on by the high geothermal gradients in the region.
Developing a plan to deal with this greenhouse gas will be necessary to fully realize the potential of the Horn River. But these enhancements proceed alongside the buildout of LNG facilities. The future is yet to come for the Horn River.
To recap the discovery timeline to date, the Horn River is yet another significant resource play driver for the industry. Perhaps the non-resource plays are the ones that should be called “unconventional.”
Barker, J., 2014. Horn River Basin Unconventional Shale Gas Play Atlas, BC Oil and Gas Commission. https://www.bcogc.ca/files/reports/Technical-Reports/horn-river-play-atlas.pdf
Oldale, H.S., Munday, R. J., Ma, K. and Meijer Drees, N. C. (1994): Devonian Beaverhill Lake Group of the Western Canada Sedimentary Basin; in Geological Atlas of the Western Canada Sedimentary Basin, G.D. Mossop and I. Shetsen (comp.), Canadian Society of Petroleum Geologists and Alberta Research Council, URL https://ags.aer.ca/publications/chapter-12-devonian-woodbend-winterburn-strata.html, [04/26/2020]
August 12, 2021 Well of the Week – The first gas well in Western Canada
August 19, 2021 Well of the Week – first oil well in Western Canada
September 2. 2021 Well of the Week – Bitumount: The start of something big
September 9, 2021 Well of the Week – The first resource play with legs
September 16, 2021 Well of the Week – The Deep Basin era begins
September 23, 2021 Well of the Week – The beginning of Montney mania