Northeastern (46th Annual) and North-Central (45th Annual) Joint Meeting (20–22 March 2011)

Paper No. 8
Presentation Time: 10:20 AM


MARCIL, Jean-Sébastien, LAVOIE, Jeremie, MECHTI, Nabila, DORRINS, Peter K. and LAVOIE, Jean-Yves, Junex Inc, 2795, boulevard Laurier, Bur. 200, Québec, QC G1V 4M7, Canada,

Recent interest for Shale Gas in the Southern Quebec Lowlands has resulted in the drilling of 30 exploratory wells in that basin. The calcareous and organic-rich Middle Ordovician Utica Shale is the main target of this recent exploration effort. To date, most operations have been performed in the medium to deep depth thermogenic Shale gas play (1,000-2,000 meters), located in the central part of the Saint Lawrence Lowlands. With OGIP estimates ranging from 75 to 300 Bcf per section, the deep play is definitely considered promising. Publicly-released information from the different tested areas in the basin indicates an average potential gas-in-place ranging from 75 to 150 Bcf/section.

While testing the deep shale potential, exploration efforts are also focussed on evaluating the potential of the other shale gas play’s potential. Since 2008, Junex has started to evaluate gas potential in three other shales: 1) Shallow to medium depth thermogenic shale gas; 2) Overthrusted shale gas; 3) Intra-Appalachians sub-basin shale gas. This presentation will focus on the assessment of the shallow to medium depth thermogenic shale gas play. Junex is the largest landholder in this play with permits covering approximately 600,000 acres (gross).

Also, in this presentation, the shallow play will be described based upon the data available regarding the basin geology, shale mineralogy, organic matter type, gas geochemistry, structural style and infrastructure access. The characteristics of the play, from a geological, geochemical, structural and geophysical perspective, will be reviewed.

Research undertaken by JUNEX’s exploration team has highlighted five major points concerning the shallow shale gas play:

  • Shallow shales have higher TOC content in several areas of the play;
  • Almost half of the play is located in the liquid-rich gas zone;
  • The shale gas zone are overpressurized despite its shallow depth;
  • Drilling and completion costs are lower since drilling depth is under 1,000 meters;
  • Propane frac stimulation in the shallow shale play is technically viable.

In addition to creating a large geoscience database, new exploration efforts undertaken by JUNEX exploration team have permitted to evaluate the hydrocarbon potential of the shallow shale play in terms of unconventional resources.