Dunvegan Formation – Growth Opportunities Utilizing New Technologies

Until a few years ago the Dunvegan was a relatively unheard of play. Seems that the times are changing and a number of Western Canadian producers are gaining success drilling it. It does not have the same size and scope of a true resource play as it is limited in areal extent and has variable reservoir thickness. On the contrary it is an interesting play. It shows you where you can apply new technology to get the most of your investment.

Numerous companies, especially those in the Kaybob area of northwestern Alberta, have been taking advantage of technological advancements in horizontal drilling and multi-stage hydraulic fracturing to fully exploit light oil reserves from the Upper Cretaceous sandstone formation. It's a real emerging hot play as these active Canadian producers can attest:

  • Tangle Creek

  • Apache Corporation

  • Trilogy Energy Corp.

  • Mancal Energy Inc.

  • Progress Energy Resources Corp.

  • Canadian Natural Resources Ltd.

  • ConocoPhillips Canada Operations Ltd.

The Dunvegan shows a lot of promise for the oil and gas industry. It's not a huge play, but it can be quite an attractive play.  The formation consists of a variety of sandstones in deltas and channels that are easily mapped and maintain continuity. The sandstones originally came from way up in the northwest in northeastern B.C. and the Territories. They sort of reach a limit in west-central Alberta, around Kaybob, Waskahigan, Fox Creek and areas like that. The producers can get some pretty good oil out of there, and its good-quality oil. It's light and it's sweet, and it's in an area that is great for infrastructure that can bring overall costs down.

The Dunvegan targets are quite attractive for producers to search after, extensive drilling in the deeper targets gathered a lot of information on them, because there are so many different drilling targets in those areas - from very shallow formations like the Cardium, down through a lot of the deep ones including the Montney and Duvernay plays that are very hot right now.

Although the play is hot right now a huge land rush is not anticipated. Most of these lands are already held for deeper zones, so as companies go in and do their drilling for their Montney’s and Duvernay’s and other things like that, they'll stumble across these smaller Dunvegan sands up-hole, and if it looks promising they'll do some more mapping and they might be able to make independent little projects out of them. The industry has known about the possibilities of the formation for some time, until horizontal drilling and multi-stage hydraulic fracturing technologies became more advanced, the prospects of developing the Dunvegan were fairly limited even in the area of Alberta where it now presents a promising resource.

As this play emerges Cordax's LWT system has been helping operators in the Dunvegan gather open hole logging data that can be obtained safely and more cost effectively in any HZ well. This allows full optimization of these new completion techniques to get the most out of every well.

Cordax LWT can help your next Dunvegan well by:

  • Recognition of changing reservoir quality such as porosity or fluid content

  • Measurements of resistivity with minimum invasion

  • Revealing faults early enough to react to potential problems

  • Detection of fluid boundaries

  • Replacement of pilot holes (save days of rig time)

  • Frac and completion optimization

  • Mapping of sweet spots