by Tina Olivero

    OIL DISCOVERY OPPORTUNITY IS SPECTACULAR: Carson-Bonnition and Salar basins.

    The Honourable Siobhan Coady, Minister of Natural Resources, released the 2019 oil and gas resource assessment results which identify an additional 3 billion barrels of oil and 5.8 trillion cubic feet of gas potential offshore Newfoundland.

    In total, there is a combined resource potential of 52.2 billion barrels of oil and 199.6 trillion cubic feet of gas in just nine per cent of the province’s offshore. The assessment was conducted by Beicip-Franlab, a leading independent company in doing resource assessments globally. This puts Newfoundland offshore oil and gas potential on par with areas like the North Sea, Gulf of Mexico and the Middle East, however, exploration and discoveries must take place for those resources to materialize.

    “Beicip-Franlab has carried out detailed interpretations of past and new data, well and seismic, in the Carson-Bonnition-Salar basins. The data integration approach applied was designed to rigorously assess uncertainty and risk, which allowed the generation of various probable alternative resource evaluation scenarios, confirming significant hydrocarbon potential in the area,” said Jean Burrus, CEO, Beicip-Franlab.

    Beicip-Franlab has carried out detailed interpretations of past and new data, well and seismic, in the Carson-Bonnition-Salar basins.

    Jim Keating, Executive Vice President, Offshore Development, Nalcor Energy-Oil and Gas says, “We are applying rigorous exploration best practices and technical innovation to ensure we ultimately evaluate every area of our offshore for oil and gas resource potential. In addition to the 2D seismic collected over the area, we invested with Fugro in acquiring a high-resolution multibeam survey that identified a number of seep like features coming from the ocean floor. Subsequent coring of these anomalies confirmed hydrocarbon presence which is an important insight in this frontier basin due to the limited number of wells and no discoveries to date in the area.”

    The government is taking a systematic, scientific approach to understand the province’s oil and gas resource potential. By leading the collection of new data in the early stages of the exploration cycle and providing extensive information about the offshore oil and gas resource potential, new areas for industry exploration and future resource development opportunities are being opened offshore.

    The oil and gas industry plays an important role in the growth and development of Newfoundland and Labrador’s economy. Since 1997, the oil and gas industry has accounted for approximately 25 per cent of cumulative provincial GDP and as of June 2019 over 8,900 people were directly employed in construction and operations.

    2019 South Eastern Newfoundland Region NL19-CFB01

    Located 400 kilometres east-southeast of St. John’s, the 2019 license round will occur over the NL19-CFB01 sector. The sector lies in the central northern portion of the southeastern Newfoundland jurisdiction and includes the Carson-Bonnition and Salar basins.

    On April 3, 2019, the Canada-Newfoundland and Labrador Offshore Petroleum Board (C-NLOPB) announced the Call for Bids NL19-CFB01. The block definition includes nine parcels of land and a total of 2,270,472 hectares. These nine parcels are the focus of the 2019 Independent Resource Assessment.

    Seven (7) wells were used for the study. Each well contains a set of petrophysical logs, stratigraphic markers, and geochemical reports:
    • Bonnition H-32
    • Cormorant N-83
    • Murre G-67
    • Osprey H-84
    • Skua E-41
    • Spoonbill C-30
    • St George J-55
    2D seismic surveys (regional, 10x10km and 5x5km grids) interpreted by Nalcor and
    covering an area of 58,000 km² within the Carson, Bonnition, Salar basins area (From
    2014-2017, Nalcor invested TGS/PGS broadband long offset multiclient Southeast Grand
    Banks Seismic Project).
    A set of fifteen (15) horizons were interpreted in the 2D surveys and 14 associated
    isopach maps:
    • Seabed, 0 My
    • C34, Top Eocene, 34 Ma
    • C45, Top Mid Eocene, 45 Ma
    • C54, Top Paleocene/Base Eocene
    • C65, Top Cretaceous, 65 Ma
    • K100, Top Albian, 100 Ma
    • K114, Top Mid Aptian, 114 Ma
    • K140, Top Berriasian, 140 Ma
    • J145, Top Tithonian, 145 Ma
    • J151, Top Kimmeridgian , 151 Ma
    • J165, Top Bathonian, 165 Ma
    • J185, Top Pleinsbachian, 175 Ma
    • J195, Top Hettangian, 195 Ma
    • T201, Top Triassic, 201 Ma
    • Base Mesozoic, 251 Ma
    Fault sets picked for structural evolution and 3D modelling.
    The 2019 Carson, Bonnition and Salar basins Resource Assessment study area shares its northern boundary with the 2018 NL03-EN-01A sector. Nalcor and Beicip-Franlab
    extended the main structural trends, seismic horizons, and paleogeographic
    interpretation from the Flemish Pass Basin and eastern Jeanne d’Arc Basin to the Carson,
    Bonnition and Salar basins to ensure regional consistency

    Water depths range from 100 metres on the shelf to 3,500 metres in the southeastern deepwater region of the sector.

    Interested parties have until 12:00 p.m. NST on November 6th, 2019 to submit bids for the parcels offered in Call for Bids NL19-CFB01. Further detailed information pertaining to this Call for Bids can be found at www.cnlopb.ca/exploration/issuance/#bids-active.

    The Beicip-Franlab petroleum system resource assessment of the Carson, Bonnition and Salar basins area demonstrates a potential petroleum system with seven potential reservoirs sourced by regionally known source rocks. The timing of burial with respect to traps formation enables hydrocarbons (HC) to be trapped and sealed regionally through rotated Jurassic blocks and associated structural traps, as well as stratigraphic traps in the Early Cretaceous and Paleogene. Several geological scenarios have been tested, all being calibrated on well data and seismic features. They show the likelihood of an efficient petroleum system in the Carson-Salar basin area.

    Siobhan Coady, Minister of Natural Resources for Newfoundland and Labrador says, “The purpose of embarking on this annual independent resource assessment is to broaden our understanding of the under-explored frontier basins and add to our geotechnical knowledge of the area. The resource potential in our offshore is incredible. We have over 650 leads and prospects identified to date, eight new entrants in the past three years, and $4 billion in recent exploration work commitments. We will continue to position the province as an internationally preferred location for oil and gas exploration and development – one that values safety and environmental responsibility and maximizes benefits to the people of the province.”

    As part of previous resource assessments, Beicip-Franlab built on its extensive experience in the Newfoundland offshore area, especially within the Flemish and Orphan areas.

    SOURCE: Nalcor, Government of Newfoundland and Labrador, CNLOPB

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