Well of the Week – How is the Dunvegan Debolt like a shopping mall?

Every development needs an anchor whether it is in real estate or oil and gas. A mall requires a lead tenant, and an oil and gas region with a wealth of resources still requires a major discovery to really kick it into the big leagues. Investors need a reason to invest in the facilities to allow substantial but smaller plays to be plumbed in. And that is why the Dunvegan Debolt is a gas field that deserves to be remembered.

This Petro Ninja – Enlighten Geoscience Well of the Week pays homage to a discovery that gave a reason to open up the Peace River Arch (PRA) to gas production: the Dunvegan Debolt discovery. Anderson Exploration drilled the 100/06-28-080-03W6/00 well in June of 1972 and discovery a field estimated to contain 1.2 to 1.6 TCF of Original Gas In Place (Packard et al., 2004). The fourth completion event in 6-28 went on to produce just under 1.6 bcf of gas. While this is definitely respectable result, it pales in comparison to wells such as 100/09-18-081-04W6/00, which produced over 20 bcf before being commingled with the uphole Triassic zone.

Wright et al., 1994

This field was both a company maker for Anderson and a significant event for the industry. Massive structural traps are pretty rare beasts in the WCSB outside of the Foothills. With hindsight, the decision to drill the seismically identified structure was pretty easy (see example images above and below). But low hanging fruit can be just as nutritious as the pickings on higher branches. And Dunvegan dragged the infrastructure north to allow the development of the resources in the Arch.

Wright et al., 1994


Packard, J. J., Al-Aasm, I. S., and Devon Canada Exploration Team. 2004.Reflux dolomitization of Mississippian-age sabkha and restricted subtidal sediments resulting in a 1.6 Tcf giant gas field: The Upper Debolt Formation of west-central Alberta. Canadian Society of Petroleum Geologists, Core Seminar and Abstracts, Calgary, Alberta, 26p.

Wright, G.N., McMechan, M. E., Potter, D. E. G. and Holter M. E. (1994): Structure and Architecture 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 http://ags.aer.ca/publications/chapter-28-geological-history-of-the-peace-river-arch.html, [04/26/2020].

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