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January 23, 2021 WotW - First Gas Well in Western Canada

Resource Play: Milk River - Medicine Hat Biogenic Shallow Gas

Discovery Well UWI: 100/03-29-015-10W4/00

Drilling/Completion Technology: Pre-Conventional (Cable Tool)

Perhaps the Petro Ninja Enlighten Geoscience Well of the Week for January 23, 2021 was the inspiration for the opening credits of The Beverley Hillbillies, in which Jed Clampett discovered oil through the luck of his poor marksmanship.

Come and listen to my story about a man named Jed

A poor mountaineer, barely kept his family fed,

And then one day he was shootin' at some food,

And up through the ground come a bubblin' crude.

Oil that is, black gold, Texas tea.

As dedicated geoscientists, we might scoff at the idea of so easily finding hydrocarbons but back in 1883, a crew drilling for water messed up and discovered natural gas Currently known as 100/03-29-015-10W4/00 (also known as the Aldersyde well), what this well discovered was the Giant Milk River / Medicine Hat Biogenic Gas Field. A very interesting and detailed article on 3-29 maybe found at:

Not surprisingly, given the spud date, there are no well logs for 3-29 but there is one a few hundred metres away.

And, based on the number of wells, it sure looks like people thought 3-29 was worthwhile following up on over the years:

This well discovered a truly massive field and launched the western Canadian oil and gas industry.

So, based on the evidence, the first gas well in western Canada was drilled into a resource play manifested in a giant biogenic gas field. It was discovered by pre-conventional technology. That is a cable tool drilling rig.

Next week we discuss the first oil well in western Canada and the resource play it represents.


Chen, Zhouheng & Shuai, Yanhua & Osadetz, Kirk & Hamblin, T. & Grasby, Stephen. (2015). Comparison of biogenic gas fields in the Western Canada Sedimentary Basin and Qaidam Basin: Implications for essential geological controls on large microbial gas accumulations. Bulletin of Canadian Petroleum Geology. 63. 33-52. 10.2113/gscpgbull.63.1.33.


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