Well of the Week – Maritime Oilfields Ltd. No. 4
Recently Blaine Higgs, the premier of New Brunswick, has been speculating on reviving the “shale gas” industry in his province. This Petro Ninja – Enlighten Geoscience Well of the Week eschews a discussion on the politics of this question but is, as always, interested in the geology of the New Brunswick oil and gas industry and Maritime Oilfields Ltd. No. 4, the discovery well for the Stoney Creek field in 1909.
At this point, many readers will say “There is an oil and gas industry in New Brunswick”? Yes, there definitely is and operators have been drilling wells there since 1859. And until recently Moncton made use of locally produced gas from the nearby Stoney Creek field. In what might have raised the ire of the good people of Medicine Hat, in 1915 Moncton laid claim to being “centre of the greatest natural gas producing field in the Dominion of Canada”. Not looking to cause a fuss. Just reporting what was said.
Figure 1. Extract from 1915 Moncton promotional booklet. Magee (2022).
For more information, the Albert County Museum maintains a page on their website dedicated to the oil and gas heritage of New Brunswick.
As outlined in St. Peter (2000), the Lower Carboniferous Albert formation hosts the reservoir for the conventional production. The reservoir consists of fine to coarse grained lenticular sandstones up to 30 m in thickness. The reservoir attributes include porosities up to 20% and permeabilities of up to 100mD. These sandstones were able to provide up to initial rates of 10 to 18 mmcf/d and 30 to 110 BOPD of 60o API oil. All this from wells that hit basement at approximately 1,000 metres. Not bad for a field many of us have never heard about.
Figure 2. Geological map of New Brunswick and surrounding region. (St. Peter (2000)).
Figure 2 summarizes the extent of the sedimentary basins in New Brunswick. As a reminder, the heritage conventional play is centred around Moncton in the eastern part od the province. The resource play under consideration is centred on the McCully Field outside of Sussex.
But that is the subject for a future article.
Magee, S. (2022). Oil and gas well field that fuelled Moncton to be shut down. https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/new-brunswick/oil-wellfield-moncton-shutdown-orlen-1.6568078 [accessed 2023-05-02].
St. Peter, C. 2000. Oil shales and oil and natural gas in New Brunswick: Historical and current industry related activities. New Brunswick Department of Natural Resources and Energy, Minerals and Energy Division, Information Circular 2000-5, 14 p. https://www2.gnb.ca/content/dam/gnb/Departments/en/pdf/Minerals-Minerales/ONG_History-E.pdf [accessed 2023-05-02].