Unconventional Oil & Gas

Shale plays first come to mind when one considers unconventional resources. These unconventional resource plays may yield natural gas, gas condensates, and crude oil. Some of the more noteworthy shale plays in North America include the Barnett, Haynesville, Marcellus, Eagle Ford, Fayetteville, Woodford, Bakken, Niobrara, Horn River, and Utica formations. Tight gas, coalbed methane, oil sands, and heavy oil are non-shale unconventional resources.


Eagle Ford | Marcellus | Cline | Permian | Utica | Bakken | Woodbine & Eaglebine

Horn River

Horn River Description ImageThe Horn River Basin shale play is located in northeast British Columbia and is a relatively new natural gas discovery. It is the largest known shale gas field in Canada. A large number of mostly Canadian and American companies have been busy obtaining leases in the Horn River area, and a 36-inch pipeline is being built to transport natural gas from this remote area to a tie-in point on TransCanada’s existing Alberta System.

Experts estimate there is about 250 trillion cubic feet (tcf) of natural gas in the field, of which 10% to 20% is recoverable. Another emerging shale play in British Columbia, just south of the Horn River shale, is the Montney shale, which is estimated to hold up to 50 tcf of gas reserves and extends east into Alberta.

Horn River Shale Map

Horn River Shale News

Rebalancing continues as Apache sells Alberta oil and gas assets for $214M

Aug 15, 2013

As part of an ongoing asset monetization and portfolio rebalancing, Houston-based Apache Corp. has agreed to sell oil and gas producing properties in the Nevis, North Grant Lands and South Grant Lands areas of western Alberta, Canada, to Ember Resources Inc., a private Canadian company, for US$214 million, the company said August 15.

Canadian shale update

Jul 11, 2013

Compared to its neighbor to the south, Canada is in the early stages of developing its unconventional resources, especially tight oil. For Canadian producers, this means that a large portion of that nation's production potential has yet to be unlocked.

Quicksilver sells 25% interest in Barnett Shale assets to Tokyo Gas for $485 million

May 1, 2013

Fort Worth, Texas-based Quicksilver Resources Inc. [NYSE: KWK] said March 29 that it has agreed to sell an undivided 25% interest in its Barnett Shale oil and gas assets for US$485 million to TG Barnett Resources LP, a wholly-owned US subsidiary of Tokyo Gas Co. Ltd.

Encana enters into JV to develop Duvernay shale play

Dec 13, 2012

Calgary-based Encana Corporation has entered into a joint venture arrangement with Phoenix Duvernay Gas, a wholly owned subsidiary of PetroChina, to explore and develop Encana’s extensive undeveloped Duvernay land holdings in west-central Alberta.

Canadian shale holds great promise

Oct 1, 2012

Aside from the Bakken shale play that extends north from the United States into the Canadian province of Saskatchewan, the Horn River Basin contains the best known shale deposits in western Canada.

Investor interest returns to Montney Shale play

Apr 25, 2012

Canada’s Montney Shale play is gaining huge attention due to its unconventional gas reserves, securing enormous investments as operators compete for valuable areas, a new report by GlobalData has found.

Terra Energy divesting Canadian assets

Apr 10, 2012

Terra Energy has engaged Macquarie Tristone and Scotiabank to seek proposals for divesting up to 100% of its share of assets of NorAm Energy Worx Inc. 

Weekly Update: Asia intensifies North American asset grab

Dec 2, 2011

Government backed Asian companies made further moves for global oil and gas resources this week, with the target areas ranging from Canada and the United States to Australia.

Horn River, Montney shale plays create interest in western Canada

Oct 1, 2011 The Horn River Basin is not a household name and neither are the subsurface shale formations in that part of western Canada.

Horn River, Montney shale plays create interest in western Canada

Oct 1, 2011 The Horn River Basin is not a household name and neither are the subsurface shale formations in that part of western Canada.

Talisman and Sasol to partner in Canada's Montney Shale

Dec 20, 2010

Calgary-based Talisman Energy has signed an agreement with South Africa’s Sasol Limited on Dec. 20 to create a strategic partnership to develop the Farrell Creek assets in Talisman’s Montney Shale play in northeastern British Columbia. Talisman will sell a 50% working interest in its Farrell Creek assets to Sasol for a total consideration of Can$1.05 billion (about US$1.03 billion).

Encana, CNPC to jointly develop Canadian natural gas plays

Jun 25, 2010

Encana Corp. (NYSE: ECA) and China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC) are negotiating a potential joint-venture investment to develop Encana’s natural gas plays in Horn River, Greater Sierra (Jean Marie formation) and Cutbank Ridge (Montney formation) in northeast British Columbia.

Nexen operating in Horn River Basin

Jun 12, 2010

Canada’s Nexen Inc. has 199 net sections of undeveloped land in an emerging Devonian shale gas play in the Horn River Basin in northeast British Columbia. Shale gas is natural gas produced from reservoirs composed of organic shale.

Talisman increases Marcellus, Montney shale acreage

Nov 3, 2009

Canadian Talisman Energy Inc. has increased its landholdings in two unconventional natural gas plays, the Marcellus and the Montney, in North America.

Quicksilver has success in Horn River Basin

Sep 30, 2009

Quicksilver Resources Inc. has completed its first well in the Horn River Basin in Northeast British Columbia. The well tested at an initial production rate of 13 million cubic feet per day.

ConocoPhillips CEO on shale boom: We've only scratched the surface

Technology innovation has expanded the world’s energy resource base and the oil and gas industry will continue to working to supply that growth, said ConocoPhillips (NYSE:COP) chairman and CEO Ryan Lance.

©2014 Michael Stravato. Provided courtesy of the James A. Baker III Institute for Public Policy, Rice University.

Read the full article here. 

US tight oil production averaged 3.22 day MMbbl/d in 4Q13, according to US EIA estimates. This level was enough to push overall crude oil production in the US to an average of 7.84 MMbbl/d, more than 10% of total world production, up from 9% in the fourth quarter of 2012. Read more here

Can the shale gas rBart Willigers, Palantir Solutions Ltd. evolution currently taking place in the US be repeated elsewhere? Although significant volumes of unconventional gas deposits are present in Poland, France, Germany, Hungary, Sweden, Turkey, and the UK, shale gas developments are running many years behind their counterparts in the US. Skeptics have pointed out that differences in geology, taxes, public acceptance, environmental regulations and other factors in Europe vs. the US make for a tougher environment in which to develop unconventional resources. 

Read the article by Bart J. A. Willigers of Palantir Solutions Ltd. here

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