The British Columbia portion of the Western Canada Sedimentary Basin (WCSB) is far less developed than the Alberta portion. In the past decade this area has experienced tremendous growth, particularly in natural-gas exploration. Despite this fact many parts of northeastern British Columbia remain significantly under explored due to difficulties in accessibility and a lack of available infrastructure. Upper Paleozoic (Pennsylvanian and Permian) strata are among British Columbia's most important reservoir intervals (Bird et al., 1994), as they are very much under explored and have considerable potential to yield a major supply of natural gas.
One area that has been identified as having particularly high potential for undiscovered conventional natural gas resources is the southern Foothills belt and adjacent Deep Basin in the Sukunka-Kakwa area (Fig. 1; National Energy Board, 2006). Upper Paleozoic (Pennsylvanian and Permian) strata host some of this region's largest producing fields, however their potential for undiscovered marketable hydrocarbons remains particularly high (National Energy Board 1999; 2006).
Despite strong industry interest in Permo- Pennsylvanian (Ksituan and Belloy formations) strata no detailed stratigraphic and sedimentologic studies of Upper Paleozoic strata have been conducted in the Sukunka-Kakwa area. This proposal seeks to fill this knowledge gap through a multidisciplinary study conducted by researchers at the University of Calgary and the Geological Survey of Canada (Calgary office). This project will develop detailed predictive sedimentary facies and diagenetic models within an integrated sequence biostratigraphic framework for known and potential reservoir intervals in Upper Paleozoic strata within the Kakwa - Sukunka region of northeastern British Columbia (NTS 1:250,000 map sheets 93-I and 93-O and 93-P; 54-55.75ºN; 120-122º W). Data gleaned from outcrop sections will be synthesized with all available subsurface data (primarily core and wireline logs but also seismic data where available from our industry sponsor, Talisman). The lowest parts of the Triassic succession will also be investigated to help understand the tectonic controls on deposition and preservation of this succession.