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Well of the Week – Hiding behind a thin veneer

Please allow me a bit of a diversion before we dive into this Petro NinjaEnlighten Geoscience Well of the Week. The Canadian Society of Petroleum Geologists is holding its Annual General Meeting on Thursday December 8, 2022. This meeting is particularly important due to a request for the members to vote on a Special Resolution to change the CSPG’s name to the Canadian Energy Geoscience Association. After almost five decades of existence, the Alberta Society of Petroleum Geologists recognized that the industry and science it served had grown beyond Alberta and the members voted to swap out Alberta for Canadian. Five decades later, the world has continued to change as has the science the CSPG serves. If you are a member in good standing, I encourage you to vote in person or by submitting your proxy. (If you aren’t currently a member and would like to join this vibrant organization, click here). If you would like to understand why I am voting YES, feel free to contact me at

Have you ever spent ages searching for something just to eventually find it lying immediately under something else? Last week we reviewed the first oil well in Manitoba. The Daly soon find led to further discoveries of Mississippian fields in the vicinity such as Virden. But it took 53 years before 100/03-06-007-29W1/00 resulted in the discovery of the Sinclair Torquay Field (subsequently amalgamated with the Daly Field). A fairly typical log suite from 100/04-23-008-29W1/00 in the heart of the field is presented below.

Figure from Nicolas (2011)

The Devonian Torquay* formation is “best described as a giant evaporitic mudflat platform.” (Nicolas, 2011) with a basin-wide sabkha representing a modern analogue). These deposits are often complicated by episodes of brecciation and evaporitic deposition. The Torquay is comprised of four sub-units of which Units 2 and 4 are the most productive. The pay section is thin, but the 272 wells ascribed to the Torquay have produced 2 million m3 of 40o API oil since 2005 at a depth of 1,000 metres in a hospitable operating environment. The current average daily production is 29 m3/day from 228 wells. To sum up, a very economic play.

Production plot courtesy of Petro Ninja

Further revelations on the petroleum geology of Manitoba to follow!

*Click here for a fun lesson on how to pronounce Torquay.


Nicolas, M.P.B. 2011: Stratigraphy and regional geology of the Late Devonian–Early Mississippian Three Forks Group, southwestern Manitoba (NTS 62F, parts of 62G, K); Manitoba Innovation, Energy and Mines, Manitoba Geological Survey, Geoscientific Report GR2012-3, 92 p.


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