New Report Assesses High-Value Oil Potential in Northeastern British Columbia

Vancouver, BC - September 20, 2018 - A new report published by Geoscience BC today grades potential for high-value light and medium oil at 27 formations in northeastern British Columbia.

The area is well known for its natural gas reserves, but little research has been done to identify the potential for accessing lighter oil in the region since the widespread adoption of horizontal drilling and multi-stage hydraulic fracturing. Called Identification of New Resource Oil Plays in Northeast British Columbia's Portion of the Western Canada Sedimentary Basin, the project addresses the knowledge gap.

Project Lead Brad Hayes said: "This project has the potential to bring investment in light oil development to northeastern BC. This has significantly lower environmental impact than the heavier oils associated with Alberta's oil sands, and could also help to diversify British Columbia's economy."

Geoscience BC Executive Vice President & Chief Scientific Officer Carlos Salas said: "Light oil is significantly more valuable than the heavier oils. Making this new data publicly available helps the energy sector to focus exploration activity and responsible development. It also makes independent data about the potential for unconventional oil development in the region available to communities, First Nations and government."

Of the 27 formations, eight were rejected as unsuitable and 19 were deemed suitable for analysis. The 19 formations were then graded from A to C:

  • Two - the Halfway and Chinkeh Formations -- were graded 'A'
  • One was graded 'A/B';
  • Six were graded 'B'; and
  • Ten were graded 'C'.

Identification of New Resource Oil Plays in Northeast British Columbia's Portion of the Western Canada Sedimentary Basin falls under Geoscience BC's energy focus area and contributes to the objective to identify new natural resource opportunities.

Geoscience BC's energy focus area helps to guide clean, responsible energy development, identify and mitigate risk, help answer specific environmental and social questions, and attract investment in British Columbia.

Accessing Information

To view reports and maps for this project, visit the project page below or use our Earth Science Viewer online mapping application.

View 2015-021 project page    View Project 2015-021 in Earth Science Viewer

About Geoscience BC

Geoscience BC is an independent, non-profit organization that generates earth science information in collaboration with First Nations, local communities, governments, academia and the resource sector. Our independent earth science enables informed resource management decisions. You can view a copy of the Geoscience BC Strategic Plan 2018-2022 here. Geoscience BC gratefully acknowledges the financial support of the Province of British Columbia.