Alberta shale formations hold huge amounts of oil and gas: study, headline later changed to Potential of Alberta’s shale formations may exceed oilsands: study by Jefferey Jones, November 7, 2012, Reuters in Calgary Herald
A new study has identified immense oil and gas resources in Alberta’s emerging shale prospects, suggesting a string of recent takeovers and land buys will yield impressive production gains for some of the world’s largest oil companies. The province’s shale formations, including the Duvernay, Montney and Muskwa, could contain 3,324 trillion cubic feet of natural gas, 58.6 billion barrels of gas liquids and 423.6 billion barrels of oil, according to the research, conducted by the Alberta Energy Resources Conservation Board and Alberta Geological Survey. The numbers show Alberta has huge potential even beyond its oilsands. They are seen as the world’s third-largest crude deposit with about 170 billion barrels of proven reserves and ultimate potential of as much as 1.7 trillion barrels. The Duvernay and Montney have been the targets of a boom in energy deal-making, with companies like Encana Corp, Chevron Corp and Talisman Energy Inc amassing land positions to unlock its liquids-rich reserves. Last month, Exxon Mobil Corp agreed to buy Celtic Exploration for $2.6 billion, locking up its reserves in both the Duvernay and Montney. The companies have had success in accessing the previously tough-to-tap oil and reserves with horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing technology that had been developed in large scale for use in shale gas formations in the United States and Canada.
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Source: Alberta Energy Resources Conservation Board / Alberta Geological Survey Study: Summary of Alberta’s Shale- and Siltstone-Hosted Hydrocarbon Resource Potential June 2012, ERCB /AGS Open File Report 2012-06
For shales, recoveries are expected to be around 20 per cent because of low permeabilities despite high-density horizontal drilling and extensive hydraulic fracturing.