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Utica Shale + Lorraine Shale = High Interest On Both Sides Of The Border


Given that George Mitchell took a number of years to prove up the concept of economic shale production in the Barnett, it’s absolutely headspinning to see how quickly new plays are entering the E&P mix!

We’re going to devote this space to keeping you informed about the new, the almost new, and the significant changes in recently announced unconventional plays.

Utica Shale-

Interest in the Utica is high on both sides of the US-Canadian border.  Given that the estimated gas-in –place is about 90 BCF/section in the St Lawrence lowlands (Canada), coupled with gas-in-place of 200 BCF/section in the uphole,  silicieous (therefore, easier to frac??) Lorraine shale, you can see why folks are interested in a play that could have 2000+meters (>6000’) of target reservoir section  (Utica+Lorraine).


Key measures of similarity between the Utica and the Barnett imply that the Utica can produce commercial gas—but it won’t get a chance to right now since the entire play is subject to a drilling moratorium imposed by the Quebec government to examine environmental consequences of drilling and hydro-fracturing

There are at least four provinces that are considered on the  Canadian side, shown by this DEM graphic:

So drilling practices, logging suites, and completion techniques will probably need to be re-thought as each new province gets proved up.

Do Canadian companies have an edge, given their rocky mountain experience with thin skin tectonics?

We’ll see……..

The promised land?

Thick Utica with good fractures directly overlying Albion-Scipio  type hydrothermally altered dolomites in the Trenton/Black River…..

And maybe there’s an analogy ( at least in term of basin modeling) with the Eagleford’s now famous downdip dry gas, updip liquids rich character???

Interesting note—the Canadian section is underlain by igneous and metamorphic rocks of Grenville age…take a look at the extent of the Grenville orogen.

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