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Well of the Week – Can’t win them all: the Arch Winterburn

When I started on this Petro Ninja – Enlighten Geoscience series cataloguing the wealth of discoveries related to the Peace River Arch, I expected that a few formations would be underwhelming. But can we not learn from failures as much or even more than from our success?

Switzer et al. (1994)

I present as an example, the Winterburn Group. My low expectations were born out by a rather jejune quartet of Blueridge wells in the Worsley area with a P50 forecast production of a little over 50,000 bbls.

I tried. I really tried to find a well or two that could justify some hopeful optimism. A hint that these wells were on the low end of a log normal pool size distribution. Perhaps a DST that pointed to a resource play hiding somewhere. Nothing. Niente. Nada. I even allowed myself some excitement over a really good well mistakenly listed as a Winterburn producer. (My thanks to Jessica Metez of Canamax Energy for generously clarifying the matter for me and preventing an embarrassing mistake).

Group Production cast courtesy of Subsurface Dynamics and Petro Ninja

Only time will tell if the Blueridge ever develops into a significant producer. Maybe some future explorationist will figure out the play. Until then the Upper Devonian over the Arch will be akin to a three act play with some promising producers in the Leduc setting the stage in Act I. In Act II, the Blueridge plays the tragic middle part and, in Act III, the Wabamun provides a triumphant crescendo to the Devonian. Maybe this is getting a bit dramatic (literally and figuratively).

I better stop here. I wouldn’t want to give away any of next week’s post.


Switzer, S. B., Holland, W. G., Christie, D. S., Graf, G. C., Hedinger, A. S., McAuley, R. J., Wierzbicki, R. A. and Packard, J. J. (1994): Devonian Woodbend-Winterburn Strata 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].


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