Canada sees 78 tcf marketable in Horn River basin

By OGJ editors
HOUSTON, May 11
– The ultimate potential for marketable unconventional shale gas in the Horn River basin of Northeast British Columbia is 78 tcf, said a report by Canada’s National Energy Board and the BC Ministry of Energy and Mines.

The volume consists of 3 tcf of discovered resources and 75 tcf of undiscovered resources. The report is the first publicly released probability-based resource assessment of a Canadian shale basin. Horn River is part of the Western Canada Sedimentary basin.

The 78 tcf volume is more than double a previous assessment of gas resources in the province.

By way of placing the Horn River figures in context, the NEB estimated that 197 tcf of conventional and unconventional natural gas remain in the WCSB, although this number does not take into account known but as yet unassessed unconventional gas resources.

The estimate of total remaining conventional and unconventional natural gas in Northeast BC available for future demand is 109 tcf. That includes 78 tcf of shale gas and 31 tcf of remaining natural gas resources identified in a joint assessment of conventional natural gas resources in Northeast BC. The NEB and the ministry released the conventional gas assessment in 2006.

The new report on unconventional gas resources puts forth the medium-case estimate of 78 tcf for Horn River shale gas as the most realistic scenario. However, the two agencies estimated Horn River shale gas potential to be in a range from 61 tcf to 96 tcf.

In the same report the agencies estimated remaining conventional gas potential at 78 tcf in Alberta, 4 tcf in Saskatchewan, and 6 tcf in the southern territories. They did not estimate unconventional potential in those three areas.

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