Canada’s NEB assesses marketable oil, gas in Alberta’s Duvernay shale

Canada’s National Energy Board estimates in-place 3.4 billion bbl of marketable light oil in Alberta’s Duvernay shale, which covers nearly 20% of the province from just below Grande Prairie to just north of Calgary and east of Edmonton.

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Canada’s National Energy Board estimates in-place 3.4 billion bbl of marketable light oil in Alberta’s Duvernay shale, which covers nearly 20% of the province from just below Grande Prairie to just north of Calgary and east of Edmonton.

The number of available resources equate to 17 years of Alberta’s annual production, which was 550,000 b/d of light oil and condensate in 2016. NEB’s latest assessment also determined that the Duvernay region has the potential to produce 6.3 billion bbl of marketable natural gas liquids and nearly 77 tcf of marketable gas.

The Duvernay shale was first developed in 2011 when Celtic Exploration Ltd. opened Kaybob field 150 miles northwest of Edmonton (OGJ Online, Feb. 10, 2011). Duvernay’s western basin has been more developed in recent years, by provincial land sales show increasing industry interest the basin’s eastern region.

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The Duvernay is prospective for oil and gas below 2,500 m, generally with oil in shallow deposits above 3,000 m and gas in areas deeper than 3,000 m. The Duvernay shale is rich in condensate, which is in high demand in Alberta as it is mixed with bitumen from the region’s oil sands to more easily flow through pipelines. Northern Alberta contains recoverable oil sands reserves of 165 billion bbl.

NEB developed its new assessment with data from the Alberta Geological Survey, a branch of the Alberta Energy Regulator. Later in the fall NEB has said it will release a second report examining the economics of the Duvernay shale.

Contact Tayvis Dunnahoe at tayvisd@ogjonline.com.

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