The Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency has allocated $206,880 in federal funds to 11 recipients to assist their participation in the environmental assessment of the proposed Nexen Energy ULC Flemish Pass Exploration Drilling Project, located more than 400 km east of St. John's, Newfoundland and Labrador, in an area known as the Flemish Pass, in the Atlantic Ocean. The funding was made available through the Agency's Participant Funding Program. It will assist the participation of the public and indigenous groups in upcoming steps of the environmental assessment, which include reviewing and providing comments on the environmental impact statement or on its summary, the draft environmental assessment report, and the potential environmental assessment conditions.
Summary Exploration in frontier basins provides limited information on lithology and stratigraphy when no well data are available for calibration. Herein, we demonstrate how omnidirectional sampled data acquired with multimeasurement streamers and seismic data processing using image processing methods reveal geologic features along horizons that allow interpretation for depositional environments at a 10-to 20-m vertical resolution. Acquisition geometries appropriate for exploration-scale coverage are able to support the higher spatial resolution required to unmask original and post-depositional lithology. Introduction Resolution limits on seismic data for analyzing depositional environments, lithology, and pressure depend on a number of factors. These comprise usable frequency content for vertical sampling, spatial sampling of the seismic data, and seismic velocities for proper migration of the wavefield to provide optimum horizons for geological interpretation.
Summary Omnidirectional sampled seismic data provide the basis for color-processed seismic images along lithologic horizons that allow detailed interpretation of the seismic data for depositional environments. The study of images in map view and in 3D with different vertical exaggeration reveals the wealth of information this method provides for the geologic interpretation of 3D seismic data. Introduction 3D seismic data can give insight into geological structures, stratigraphy and lithology of the target area. However, a common pitfall is the interpretation of seismic data without qualifying which geological depositional setting they represent (Nester and Padgett 1992). Such geologic settings are available for example from outcrops of similar rock strata.
Wellbore positioning is a major challenge in eastern Canada because of the extensive faults in the Jeanne d'Arc basin. Accurate well placement is vital to the success of hydrocarbon production; accurate surveys are required in real time to drill 3D trajectories that penetrate multiple small geological targets and avoid costly subsurface collisions with adjacent wellbores.
Magnetic surveying has become increasingly accurate and now provides a cost-effective alternative to gyroscopic surveys in real-time drilling applications. Magnetic tools are subject to two main sources of error: variations in the local magnetic field and interference from magnetized elements in the drillstring. New techniques for identifying and compensating for these errors involve a better understanding of the natural variations in the earth's magnetic field, and new methods of mapping local variations improve magnetic modeling.
A key innovation is the ability to create an accurate and robust crustal model and integrate real-time diurnal measurements from nearby magnetic observatories. The addition of observatory data that improves positional uncertainty has made magnetic surveying a viable option, even at higher latitudes where more extreme variations in the local magnetic field would otherwise induce unacceptable positioning errors. Geomagnetic referencing services now offer a multitiered approach to achieve the requisite degree of positional accuracy within the economic restraints of a given drilling program.
Geomagnetic referencing can produce significant savings in overall project costs by providing accurate, real-time data on well position while corrections to trajectory are still possible. Real-time azimuth control can prevent the costly sidetracks that are often required when only a postdrilled survey is performed and reveals that the well has missed its target. Geomagnetic referencing also eliminates the cost of extra rig time required to run an accurate postdrilled gyroscopic survey, which can be a significant benefit when budget restraints are critical.
Twenty-four oil and/or gas discoveries have been made offshore Newfoundland and Labrador. Three of the oil discoveries have been developed and a fourth is under consideration. The focus of development activity has been on the larger oil discoveries. As production from the larger discoveries matures, facilities and other infrastructure will become available for development of the remaining smaller discoveries. Development and tie-in of smaller pools and fields provides an opportunity to utilize this spare production capacity at these fields. Currently, there are several satellite tie-in and expansion projects in progress and others are under review. Development of the discovered smaller fields will play an important part in sustaining production from offshore Newfoundland and Labrador. In addition, many of the offshore basins are under explored and represent other opportunities to supply the next round of developments.
Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada's easterly province (Fig. 1) is strategically positioned on international shipping lanes, with unique access to global petroleum markets.
Enachescu, Michael (Memorial University of Newfoundland) | Kearsey, Stephen (Memorial University of Newfoundland) | Hogg, John (EnCana Corporation) | Einarsson, Paul (Geophysical Service Incorporated) | Nader, Sam (Geophysical Service Incorporated) | Smee, Jerry (ExAlta Energy)
Interpretation of Orphan Basin new and old seismic data in conjunctions with marine potential field data and information from a dozen wells has allowed the identification of two sedimentary areas with distinct basin fill and structural evolution: 1) the West Orphan and 2) the East Orphan basins, respectively. The East Orphan Basin had a long geodynamic evolution starting with rifting in late Triassic and continued with successive phase of extension and minor transtention. Based on geophysical interpretation, well ties and regional tectonics, the West Orphan Basin is gas prone while the East Orphan Basin has a petroleum system similar to basins on the Grand Banks and West Ireland. The East Orphan Basin is the latest Canadian Frontier exploration area to be licensed for exploration and to hold great expectations for new giant field discoveries.
Ewida, A.A. (Petro-Canada East Coast, Engineering & Technology) | Hurley, S.J. (Petro-Canada East Coast, Engineering & Technology) | Edison, S.H. (Petro-Canada East Coast, Engineering & Technology) | The, C.E. (Petro-Canada East Coast, Engineering & Technology)