OTC: Nova Scotia maps play fairway to attract explorers

By OGJ editors
-- Nova Scotia is preparing to make public the results of 2 years of research into the complex geology of the province’s Atlantic shelf and slope in a move to attract explorers to an offshore bid round to be held as early as late 2011.

The soon-to-be-released play fairway analysis is the product of $15 million in extensive geoscience research and may be the first time an effort of such scope has been applied outside an exploration company. The results are to be made available electronically without charge to oil and gas exploration companies, said R.A. MacMullin, director, Nova Scotia Department of Energy.

Beicip-Franlab, Paris, has integrated the inputs of research into plate tectonics, biostratigraphy, geochemistry, seismic reprocessing, salt structural interpretation, and reservoir quality into the finished analysis.

The group is about to publish a digital atlas of montages of maps derived from the various scientific analyses, MacMullin said May 4 at the Offshore Technology Conference in Houston.

Among other things, the research turned up solid evidence of two Jurassic source rocks, he said. The northeastern part of the 500-mile-long study area appears more gas-prone, while the southwestern part seems more oil-prone, he added.

A biostratigraphic project that is one of the 10 special projects in the play fairway analysis was undertaken by the Offshore Energy Technical Research Association, Halifax, said Jennifer Matthews, research manager.

Funds for the analysis came from the Department of Energy and originated as forfeiture payments made a decade ago by companies which, having drilled dry holes, relinquished exploration licenses before they expired. The department launched the play fairway analysis as it sought to explain the early departures and determine what might rekindle interest.

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