Upcoming Division Talk

Recent well results and post-rift seismic stratigraphic analysis for the Shelburne Subbasin; observations from the Scotian Basin’s most recent datasets. 

Speaker: Kris Kendell
Location: geoLOGIC Room (2nd Floor), Aquitaine Tower, 540-5th Avenue S.W., Calgary
October 9th, 2019 - 12:00noon

*CSPG members can register for free and track their CPD hours!

Valuable new data-sets collected across the western and central Scotian Slope off Nova Scotia during recent industry exploration efforts have substantially improved our geological understanding of the area. Two regional-scale 3D wide azimuth seismic surveys, covering 18 200 km2 and reaching water depths of 3500m, significantly improve seismic imaging and coverage across a complex region of salt tectonics, and help fill in gaps between existing, once-isolated 3D seismic volumes.  These two large surveys now link the seismic stratigraphy across nine separate but near-contiguous and locally overlapping 3D seismic volumes, covering most of the salt basin that underpins the Shelburne Subbasin.  The improvement in seismic coverage and imaging alone is significant, but these datasets also benefit from new well control provided by Cheshire L-97/L-97A and Monterey Jack E-43/E-43A.  In particular, the Cheshire well provides calibration for previously undrilled Middle Jurassic strata on the slope. Using these datasets along with other well penetrations and adjacent seismic surveys, a complete reassessment of the geology of the Shelburne Subbasin is underway. 

Built on the foundation of new well control and key shelf to slope correlations, a detailed and calibrated seismic stratigraphic framework is being developed. Initial observations derived from structure and thickness maps show that the Cretaceous intervals penetrated at both Cheshire and Monterey Jack were both erosional remnants whose respective external geometries formed via erosion rather than depositional processes such as aggradation of slope aprons or offset stacking of turbidite lobes.  Thickness maps and amplitude extractions across the western Scotian Slope illustrate that similar erosional processes are common throughout the Cretaceous. The repeated history of explorers targeting erosional remnants rather than true depositional geometries is at least partly responsible for the failure to encounter Cretaceous reservoirs in wells in the Shelburne Subbasin.  Equally important, however, is the apparent underestimation of the very large size of some turbidite systems that clearly extend beyond existing 3D seismic coverage. Initial analysis of these Cretaceous systems suggests that the Shelburne 3D survey, for example, covers the middle to upper parts of the Cretaceous slope, favouring slope bypass; trapping of turbidite reservoirs in minibasins are of secondary importance.  As such, the most obvious potential reservoirs are likely to be associated with deposits above the floor of canyons.  A clearer understanding of depositional processes confined above canyon floors may lead to improved understanding of reservoir quality and distribution on the slope.  In particular, some periods of canyon erosion appear to have unroofed stalled salt bodies, triggering salt tectonics, in turn impacting deposition above wide canyon floors.  Initial results indicate that more favourable turbidite reservoir trapping mechanisms (outside of canyons) exist on the paleo-slope further east, outboard the Sable Subbasin and associated Sable Island Delta.

Kris Kendell has 18 years of petroleum geoscience experience, 12 of which have been with the Canada-Nova Scotia Offshore Petroleum Board where he is currently employed as Advisor, Geophysics.  He is a member of their Resources group where he undertakes geological studies of the Scotian Margin and advises the CNSOPB on geophysical matters relating to oil and gas exploration, development, and production. Kris holds a B.Sc. in Geology from Saint Mary’s University, has published peer-reviewed research, and recently co-authored a book chapter titled: A Review of Mesozoic-Cenozoic Salt Tectonics Along the Scotian Margin, Eastern Canada.

Division Profile
The International Division has provided a forum to members and guests interested in the geology and hydrocarbon potential of the world since 1985. We offer monthly free brown-bag lunchtime workshops and special social events. The lunchtime event takes place every second Wednesday of each month. It starts at noon with a 5 minute introduction, followed by a 10 minute “Rock Shot” warm-up and the 30 minute main presentation, which leaves the last 15 minutes for networking. Upcoming events are detailed below. The lunchtime events are held in the Nexen Plus 15 Conference Centre located in the Nexen Annex Building.

The “Rocks Shots” could be anything interesting and should be light. In the past we have had travelogues, world cultural heritage relationships between geology and beverages, and quick geoscience knowledge. The main technical presentation should cover geoscientific and/or broadly oil and gas related topics.

A door prize is provided by Sigma Explorations Inc., coffee and refreshments by IHS Markit, doughnuts by RPS Energy, and speaker appreciation by Chinook Consulting Services Ltd. and Alconsult International.

If you are interested in joining our mailing list, giving a presentation, or have questions about the International Division, please contact your chairpersons:

Associated Society:

Committee Members

Jürgen Kraus, Franconia Geoscience Ltd.,, (c) 403.808.5086, (w) 403.245.2206
Kevin (c) 403.803.1534

Peter Bauman,  
Nanna, (c) 403.619.9033, (w) 403.587.4223 
(c) 587.899.0200

And please subscribe to our LinkedIn page ("CSPG International Division"). There is no charge for International Division Talks. Feel free to bring your lunch.