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Another Resource Play Horns In (June 27, 2021 Petro Ninja - Enlighten Geoscience WotW)

The last WotW focused on CBM, a shallow low pressure, dry gas play in the midst of well-developed infrastructure. Now we hop way up north to the Horn River Basin and have a look at the Evie - Otter Park - Muskwa (frequently referred to as the Horn River) play.

This is the eighth post in a series detailing how Resource Plays (basin-wide plays where hydrocarbons are the continuous phase) have often driven the Canadian oil and gas industry throughout its history. Links to the previous posts are provided at the bottom of this article.

Resource Play: Evie - Otter Park - Muskwa

Type Well: 200/c-024-D 094-O-09/00

Drilling/Completion Technology: Rotary/Horizontal/Multi-stage Hydraulically Fractured

Regional Geology

Unlike many Resource Plays for which the term "shale gas" is a misnomer, for the Horn River this is a very apt description. The Horn River Basin covers an area of over 1.1 million hectares, and the target trio formations of Evie, Otter Park and Muskwa can range from 140 to close to 300 metres in thickness. With 1.1 Tcf of recoverable raw gas reserves, the Horn River represents over a quarter of BC's remaining reserves.

Map created with data from Petro Ninja and Oldale et al., 1994

The wellbore display for 200/b-077-H 094-O-08/00 illustrates the nature of the Horn River strata. Details on the organic geochemistry and lithology may be found in Barker (2014).

Wellbore profile created using data from Petro Ninja

As with all Resource Plays, understanding the geomechanics is critical to successful development. While the dipmeter interpretation doesn't reveal much structure in the way of bedding, a look at the high-quality image log reveals a well-developed natural fracture set dipping steeply to the East and present in all three target formations.

The entire image log is available to Petro Ninja subscribers from by selecting 26936_WL_2011SEP25_BOREHOLE IMAGED INTERP.PDF.


The Horn River features some very impressive wells, evidence of which is given by the 200-c-024-D-094-O-09-00 production summary which illustrates the nearly 20 bcf of production to date. Low decline, minimal water. Over-pressured. Looks like we got us another Resource Play!

Production plot courtesy of Petro Ninja

Current drilling is sufficient to outline the potential of the Horn River. An active LNG project is the likely key to full development of this resource.

Production and Facilities courtesy of Petro Ninja

Another impediment to further development is the relatively high concentration of Acid Gas (CO2 ~ 13%).

This high CO2 is a result of significant over-maturation of the kerogens brought on by the high Geothermal Gradients in the region.

Map created with data from Petro Ninja and Enlighten Geoscience Geothermal Database

Developing a plan to deal with this greenhouse gas will be necessary to fully realize the potential of the Horn River. But these enhancements proceed alongside the buildout of LNG facilities. The future is yet to come for the Horn River.


Barker, J., 2014. Horn River Basin Unconventional Shale Gas Play Atlas, BC Oil and Gas Commission.

Oldale, H.S., Munday, R. J., Ma, K. and Meijer Drees, N. C. (1994): Devonian Beaverhill Lake Group of the Western Canada Sedimentary Basin; in Geological Atlas of the Western Canada Sedimentary Basin, G.D. Mossop and I. Shetsen (comp.), Canadian Society of Petroleum Geologists and Alberta Research Council, URL, [04/26/2020]

Previous Posts

And Now for Something Completely Different (May 22, 2021 Petro Ninja - Enlighten Geoscience WotW)

The Beginning of Montney Mania (May 8, 2021 Petro Ninja - Enlighten Geoscience WotW)

March 13, 2021 Petro Ninja - Enlighten Geoscience WotW: The Deep Basin Era: 100/10-01-070-10W6/00

February 21, 2021 Petro Ninja - Enlighten Geoscience WotW: 100/04-16-048-08W5/00

February 6, 2021 Petro Ninja - Enlighten Geoscience WotW: Another Oil Resource Play:

January 29, 2021 WotW - First Oil Well in Western Canada:

January 16, 2021 WotW - Historical Drivers of the WCSB Industry: Introduction:


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