Horn River Basin Project

Fort St John (October 8, 2008): Geoscience BC is pleased to announce, in partnership with the Horn River Basin Shale Gas Producers Group and the B.C. Ministry of Energy, Mines and Petroleum Resources, a $5 million geoscience research program in the Horn River Basin of northeast B.C.

Unlocking the gas from the shale formations in the Horn River Basin presents significant new geological and technological challenges to the industry. To assist the industry and the Provincial Government in assuring that the maximum benefit is realized from the development of this resource, Geoscience BC is committing up to $5 million to this program. The funding will be matched with contributions from industry, academia and other project partners, and will be used for geoscience studies in the basin, focused on identifying and evaluating potential water sources for shale gas production.

"The potential of British Columbia's oil and gas resources is incredible," said Energy, Mines and Petroleum Resources Minister Richard Neufeld, "and data compiled from these projects will provide important information that will be used for the exploration and development of the oil and gas industry. The possibilities are staggering, which is why we are taking a thoughtful and ambitious approach to resource exploration and development."

A top priority for industry in the development of the shale gas resource in the Horn River Basin, is the identification and characterization of subsurface water source aquifers, both as potential sources of water for gas production, and also as sites for spent water disposal, and possibly CO2 sequestration. Use of subsurface water in gas production may significantly reduce the surface environmental footprint of development, and help to protect surface fresh water aquifers.

"The Horn River Basin producers group is excited about the opportunity to partner with Geoscience BC to identify potential subsurface water sources" said Rob Spitzer, Chair of the Horn River Basin Producers Group. "This is an excellent example of the kind of collaboration that will ensure the responsible development of the Horn River Basin."

In addition to the saline aquifer studies, basin-wide formation characterization studies of the gas-bearing shales, and fault and fracture identification and mapping, may be undertaken. These studies will help to unravel the complexity of the Horn River Basin reservoirs, and assist the industry in the orderly and environmentally sustainable development of the shale gas resource in the Basin.

"Geoscience BC looks forward to contributing to the priority needs of both industry and government through supporting the development of innovative solutions to the challenges presented by the exploration and development of the Horn River Basin shale gas," said Dr. 'Lyn Anglin, President and CEO of Geoscience BC. "These studies will help contribute to cost-effective and environmentally sound development of British Columbia's unconventional gas resources."

Funding mechanisms for this program and details of projects to be undertaken, will be published as they become available.

The Horn River Basin shale gas producers group consists of the major industry players, which are Apache Canada Ltd., Encana, Devon Canada Corp., EOG Resources Canada, Nexen Inc., Quicksilver, Imperial Oil Resources/ExxonMobil Canada and Stone Mountain Resources. The purpose of the group is to facilitate cooperation and communication between major industry players, key stakeholders and First Nations in the area.

Geoscience BC is an industry-led, industry-focused not-for-profit society. Its mandate includes the collection, interpretation and marketing of geoscience data and expertise to promote investment in resource exploration and development in British Columbia. Geoscience BC is funded by the Provincial Government and works in partnership with industry, academia, government, First Nations and communities to attract mineral and oil & gas investment to BC.

For more information, please contact:

Geoscience BC
'Lyn Anglin, PhD
President and CEO
(604) 290-1194