Basin contains 3.4 billion barrels of marketable light oil and field condensate, or 17 years of Alberta's annual production, claims NEB assessment.
Canada's National Energy Board (NEB) has released a new resource assessment for the Duvernay Shale in central Alberta, adding significant quantities of light oil resources in the province as well as natural gas and natural gas liquids (NGLs).
Using data provided by the Alberta Geological Survey (AGS), the NEB estimates the Duvernay Shale contains 3.4 billion barrels of marketable light oil and field condensate, or 17 years of Alberta's annual production. It also shows marketable gas resources equivalent to nearly 25 years of Canada's annual consumption.
The Duvernay Shale covers nearly 20 percent of the province, stretching from just below Grande Prairie to just north of Calgary and east of Edmonton. Companies have been drilling the Duvernay for shale gas and oil since 2011, and the region has extensive existing pipeline infrastructure.
[caption id="attachment_19974" align="alignnone" width="680"] Location of the Duvernay Shale in Alberta and Canada (CNW Group/National Energy Board)[/caption]
Deposited about 370 million years ago, the Duvernay Shale is rich in organic matter and ranges from about one kilometre to more than five kilometres deep. The Duvernay generally starts getting prospective for oil and gas production below 2.5 km, with the formation generally oily in areas shallower than 3 km and gassier in areas deeper than 3 km.
Although most of current development has focused on the Duvernay's West Shale Basin, such as the Kaybob Field northwest of Edmonton, recent provincial land sales show increasing industry interest in the Duvernay's East Shale Basin.
The NEB will be releasing a second report later this fall examining the economics of the Duvernay Shale resource.
"This new assessment further solidifies our understanding of the extensive – and increasingly abundant – natural gas and oil resources in Alberta," said Peter Watson, Chair & CEO, National Energy Board in a statement.