The Montney – A Closer Look

Operator Activity

The Montney Shale is presently being developed and produced by numerous operators. Improvements of technology available, most notably in horizontal drilling and multi-stage fracture stimulation have made substantial advancements in the exploitation of this play. Recently, Advantage Oil & Gas Ltd. provided an operational update of their current Phase VI Glacier Development program. Results showed that a new Upper Montney well was recently completed with a 14 stage high rate slick water frac utilizing an open hole packer system. The new Upper Montney well was production tested for 71 hours. The final gas flow rate normalized to the gas gathering system is 21.2 mmcf/d, with an average pressure of 3,000 kpa.         

montney_rig_map.png

Nearly 80% of NuVista’s 2013 capital budget was allocated to the Wapiti Montney play. Birchcliff Energy Ltd. had a 2013 budget including 25 Montney/Doig horizontal natural gas wells and one Montney/Doig vertical exploration well. Of Birchcliff’s 25 horizontal wells, 24 wells are targeting the Middle/Lower Montney Play and one well is targeting the Basal Doig/Upper Montney Play.

This is a snapshot of today's active rigs in the region where the Montney is typically the target formation. 

In-Depth Look

The Montney Shale possesses many attractive characteristics for exploitation, such as:

  • Highly pressurized formation with significant natural gas reserves

  • High NGL content

  • Very high estimated recoveries

  • Sweet gas

  • Intermediate drilling depths

  • Rock that is fracture capable

  • Relatively flat declines when compared with other shale plays

montney_grain_size-resized-600.jpg.png

Although the Montney is commonly referred to as a “Gas Shale”, it actually contains very little “true shale”. The reservoir sediment is of fine sand to silt in size, containing variably thick carbonate beds. The illustration below shows microphotos of 4 distinct facies in the Montney moving from west to east across west central Alberta. Porosity, grain size, saturation, and permeability vary considerably.

montney_rock_type-resized-600.png

The Structure of the Montney Formation

The Montney is a NW-SE trending, lens-shaped formation that straddles the border between British Columbia and Alberta. The map below illustrates the major rock types throughout the Montney Formation. Along the eastern edge, the Montney Formation includes shallow-water marine interbedded sandstone and siltstone. At the northeastern edge, in the Ring-Border area of northeastern British Columbia and northwestern Alberta, the Montney Formation comprises a series of shoreface sandstones and restricted lagoonal siltstones and shales. The shallow-water eastern facies thickens to the west into a deeper water sequence of siltstones and shales belonging to middle shelf, outer shelf and shelf-slope environments.

montney_cross_section-resized-600.jpg.png

To the right is a cross section of the Montney Formation throughout NW Alberta and NE British Columbia. 

New Opportunities

The growth of the Montney Shale Gas has yielded new gas opportunities in north-western Alberta and north-eastern British Columbia, modifying the dynamics of the infrastructure systems that are gathering, processing, and transferring products in these areas. Conventional natural gas production in most areas of Western Canada has steadily declined over the past decade. Growth from new Tight Gas and Shale Gas opportunities is contributing to the halt of this overall decline. The re-evaluation of how existing and future infrastructure is developed, managed, and operated, may be necessary going forward.

Reservoir Evaluation

Application of horizontal well drilling and the related multi-stage fracture stimulation has allowed significantly more opportunity for exploitation of shale gas reservoirs. With lengthy lateral sections, petrophysical evaluation of the horizontal section becomes increasingly more significant. The retrieval of open hole logging data gives Completions Engineers the information required for the optimum placement of fracture intervals. Absence of this data and use of generic interval spacing (every ~100m as an example), could result in underperforming or futile fracture intervals, ultimately wasting tens of thousands of dollars. With Cordax's Logging While Tripping (LWT) system, open hole logs can be obtained safely and more cost effectively in any horizontal well.

The Structure of the Montney Formation

The Montney is a NW-SE trending, lens-shaped formation that straddles the border between British Columbia and Alberta. The map below illustrates the major rock types throughout the Montney Formation. Along the eastern edge, the Montney Formation includes shallow-water marine interbedded sandstone and siltstone. At the northeastern edge, in the Ring-Border area of northeastern British Columbia and northwestern Alberta, the Montney Formation comprises a series of shoreface sandstones and restricted lagoonal siltstones and shales. The shallow-water eastern facies thickens to the west into a deeper water sequence of siltstones and shales belonging to middle shelf, outer shelf and shelf-slope environments.

Below is a cross section of the Montney Formation throughout NW Alberta and NE British Columbia. 

New Opportunities

The growth of the Montney Shale Gas has yielded new gas opportunities in north-western Alberta and north-eastern British Columbia, modifying the dynamics of the infrastructure systems that are gathering, processing, and transferring products in these areas. Conventional natural gas production in most areas of Western Canada has steadily declined over the past decade. Growth from new Tight Gas and Shale Gas opportunities is contributing to the halt of this overall decline. The re-evaluation of how existing and future infrastructure is developed, managed, and operated, may be necessary going forward.

Reservoir Evaluation

Application of horizontal well drilling and the related multi-stage fracture stimulation has allowed significantly more opportunity for exploitation of shale gas reservoirs. With lengthy lateral sections, petrophysical evaluation of the horizontal section becomes increasingly more significant. The retrieval of open hole logging data gives Completions Engineers the information required for the optimum placement of fracture intervals. Absence of this data and use of generic interval spacing (every ~100m as an example), could result in underperforming or futile fracture intervals, ultimately wasting tens of thousands of dollars. With Cordax's Logging While Tripping (LWT) system, open hole logs can be obtained safely and more cost effectively in any horizontal well.

The Structure of the Montney Formation

The Montney is a NW-SE trending, lens-shaped formation that straddles the border between British Columbia and Alberta. The map below illustrates the major rock types throughout the Montney Formation. Along the eastern edge, the Montney Formation includes shallow-water marine interbedded sandstone and siltstone. At the northeastern edge, in the Ring-Border area of northeastern British Columbia and northwestern Alberta, the Montney Formation comprises a series of shoreface sandstones and restricted lagoonal siltstones and shales. The shallow-water eastern facies thickens to the west into a deeper water sequence of siltstones and shales belonging to middle shelf, outer shelf and shelf-slope environments.

Below is a cross section of the Montney Formation throughout NW Alberta and NE British Columbia. 

New Opportunities

The growth of the Montney Shale Gas has yielded new gas opportunities in north-western Alberta and north-eastern British Columbia, modifying the dynamics of the infrastructure systems that are gathering, processing, and transferring products in these areas. Conventional natural gas production in most areas of Western Canada has steadily declined over the past decade. Growth from new Tight Gas and Shale Gas opportunities is contributing to the halt of this overall decline. The re-evaluation of how existing and future infrastructure is developed, managed, and operated, may be necessary going forward.

Reservoir Evaluation

Application of horizontal well drilling and the related multi-stage fracture stimulation has allowed significantly more opportunity for exploitation of shale gas reservoirs. With lengthy lateral sections, petrophysical evaluation of the horizontal section becomes increasingly more significant. The retrieval of open hole logging data gives Completions Engineers the information required for the optimum placement of fracture intervals. Absence of this data and use of generic interval spacing (every ~100m as an example), could result in underperforming or futile fracture intervals, ultimately wasting tens of thousands of dollars. With Cordax's Logging While Tripping (LWT) system, open hole logs can be obtained safely and more cost effectively in any horizontal well.

Below is a cross section of the Montney Formation throughout NW Alberta and NE British Columbia. 

New Opportunities

The growth of the Montney Shale Gas has yielded new gas opportunities in north-western Alberta and north-eastern British Columbia, modifying the dynamics of the infrastructure systems that are gathering, processing, and transferring products in these areas. Conventional natural gas production in most areas of Western Canada has steadily declined over the past decade. Growth from new Tight Gas and Shale Gas opportunities is contributing to the halt of this overall decline. The re-evaluation of how existing and future infrastructure is developed, managed, and operated, may be necessary going forward.

Reservoir Evaluation

Application of horizontal well drilling and the related multi-stage fracture stimulation has allowed significantly more opportunity for exploitation of shale gas reservoirs. With lengthy lateral sections, petrophysical evaluation of the horizontal section becomes increasingly more significant. The retrieval of open hole logging data gives Completions Engineers the information required for the optimum placement of fracture intervals. Absence of this data and use of generic interval spacing (every ~100m as an example), could result in underperforming or futile fracture intervals, ultimately wasting tens of thousands of dollars. With Cordax's Logging While Tripping (LWT) system, open hole logs can be obtained safely and more cost effectively in any horizontal well.

The Structure of the Montney Formation

The Montney is a NW-SE trending, lens-shaped formation that straddles the border between British Columbia and Alberta. The map below illustrates the major rock types throughout the Montney Formation. Along the eastern edge, the Montney Formation includes shallow-water marine interbedded sandstone and siltstone. At the northeastern edge, in the Ring-Border area of northeastern British Columbia and northwestern Alberta, the Montney Formation comprises a series of shoreface sandstones and restricted lagoonal siltstones and shales. The shallow-water eastern facies thickens to the west into a deeper water sequence of siltstones and shales belonging to middle shelf, outer shelf and shelf-slope environments.

Below is a cross section of the Montney Formation throughout NW Alberta and NE British Columbia. 

New Opportunities

The growth of the Montney Shale Gas has yielded new gas opportunities in north-western Alberta and north-eastern British Columbia, modifying the dynamics of the infrastructure systems that are gathering, processing, and transferring products in these areas. Conventional natural gas production in most areas of Western Canada has steadily declined over the past decade. Growth from new Tight Gas and Shale Gas opportunities is contributing to the halt of this overall decline. The re-evaluation of how existing and future infrastructure is developed, managed, and operated, may be necessary going forward.

Reservoir Evaluation

Application of horizontal well drilling and the related multi-stage fracture stimulation has allowed significantly more opportunity for exploitation of shale gas reservoirs. With lengthy lateral sections, petrophysical evaluation of the horizontal section becomes increasingly more significant. The retrieval of open hole logging data gives Completions Engineers the information required for the optimum placement of fracture intervals. Absence of this data and use of generic interval spacing (every ~100m as an example), could result in underperforming or futile fracture intervals, ultimately wasting tens of thousands of dollars. With Cordax's Logging While Tripping (LWT) system, open hole logs can be obtained safely and more cost effectively in any horizontal well.

The Structure of the Montney Formation

The Montney is a NW-SE trending, lens-shaped formation that straddles the border between British Columbia and Alberta. The map below illustrates the major rock types throughout the Montney Formation. Along the eastern edge, the Montney Formation includes shallow-water marine interbedded sandstone and siltstone. At the northeastern edge, in the Ring-Border area of northeastern British Columbia and northwestern Alberta, the Montney Formation comprises a series of shoreface sandstones and restricted lagoonal siltstones and shales. The shallow-water eastern facies thickens to the west into a deeper water sequence of siltstones and shales belonging to middle shelf, outer shelf and shelf-slope environments.

Below is a cross section of the Montney Formation throughout NW Alberta and NE British Columbia. 

New Opportunities

The growth of the Montney Shale Gas has yielded new gas opportunities in north-western Alberta and north-eastern British Columbia, modifying the dynamics of the infrastructure systems that are gathering, processing, and transferring products in these areas. Conventional natural gas production in most areas of Western Canada has steadily declined over the past decade. Growth from new Tight Gas and Shale Gas opportunities is contributing to the halt of this overall decline. The re-evaluation of how existing and future infrastructure is developed, managed, and operated, may be necessary going forward.

Reservoir Evaluation

Application of horizontal well drilling and the related multi-stage fracture stimulation has allowed significantly more opportunity for exploitation of shale gas reservoirs. With lengthy lateral sections, petrophysical evaluation of the horizontal section becomes increasingly more significant. The retrieval of open hole logging data gives Completions Engineers the information required for the optimum placement of fracture intervals. Absence of this data and use of generic interval spacing (every ~100m as an example), could result in underperforming or futile fracture intervals, ultimately wasting tens of thousands of dollars. With Cordax's Logging While Tripping (LWT) system, open hole logs can be obtained safely and more cost effectively in any horizontal well.

Below is a cross section of the Montney Formation throughout NW Alberta and NE British Columbia. 

New Opportunities

The growth of the Montney Shale Gas has yielded new gas opportunities in north-western Alberta and north-eastern British Columbia, modifying the dynamics of the infrastructure systems that are gathering, processing, and transferring products in these areas. Conventional natural gas production in most areas of Western Canada has steadily declined over the past decade. Growth from new Tight Gas and Shale Gas opportunities is contributing to the halt of this overall decline. The re-evaluation of how existing and future infrastructure is developed, managed, and operated, may be necessary going forward.

Reservoir Evaluation

Application of horizontal well drilling and the related multi-stage fracture stimulation has allowed significantly more opportunity for exploitation of shale gas reservoirs. With lengthy lateral sections, petrophysical evaluation of the horizontal section becomes increasingly more significant. The retrieval of open hole logging data gives Completions Engineers the information required for the optimum placement of fracture intervals. Absence of this data and use of generic interval spacing (every ~100m as an example), could result in underperforming or futile fracture intervals, ultimately wasting tens of thousands of dollars. With Cordax's Logging While Tripping (LWT) system, open hole logs can be obtained safely and more cost effectively in any horizontal well.

The Structure of the Montney Formation

The Montney is a NW-SE trending, lens-shaped formation that straddles the border between British Columbia and Alberta. The map below illustrates the major rock types throughout the Montney Formation. Along the eastern edge, the Montney Formation includes shallow-water marine interbedded sandstone and siltstone. At the northeastern edge, in the Ring-Border area of northeastern British Columbia and northwestern Alberta, the Montney Formation comprises a series of shoreface sandstones and restricted lagoonal siltstones and shales. The shallow-water eastern facies thickens to the west into a deeper water sequence of siltstones and shales belonging to middle shelf, outer shelf and shelf-slope environments.

Below is a cross section of the Montney Formation throughout NW Alberta and NE British Columbia. 

New Opportunities

The growth of the Montney Shale Gas has yielded new gas opportunities in north-western Alberta and north-eastern British Columbia, modifying the dynamics of the infrastructure systems that are gathering, processing, and transferring products in these areas. Conventional natural gas production in most areas of Western Canada has steadily declined over the past decade. Growth from new Tight Gas and Shale Gas opportunities is contributing to the halt of this overall decline. The re-evaluation of how existing and future infrastructure is developed, managed, and operated, may be necessary going forward.

Reservoir Evaluation

Application of horizontal well drilling and the related multi-stage fracture stimulation has allowed significantly more opportunity for exploitation of shale gas reservoirs. With lengthy lateral sections, petrophysical evaluation of the horizontal section becomes increasingly more significant. The retrieval of open hole logging data gives Completions Engineers the information required for the optimum placement of fracture intervals. Absence of this data and use of generic interval spacing (every ~100m as an example), could result in underperforming or futile fracture intervals, ultimately wasting tens of thousands of dollars. With Cordax's Logging While Tripping (LWT) system, open hole logs can be obtained safely and more cost effectively in any horizontal well.

The Structure of the Montney Formation

The Montney is a NW-SE trending, lens-shaped formation that straddles the border between British Columbia and Alberta. The map below illustrates the major rock types throughout the Montney Formation. Along the eastern edge, the Montney Formation includes shallow-water marine interbedded sandstone and siltstone. At the northeastern edge, in the Ring-Border area of northeastern British Columbia and northwestern Alberta, the Montney Formation comprises a series of shoreface sandstones and restricted lagoonal siltstones and shales. The shallow-water eastern facies thickens to the west into a deeper water sequence of siltstones and shales belonging to middle shelf, outer shelf and shelf-slope environments.

Below is a cross section of the Montney Formation throughout NW Alberta and NE British Columbia. 

New Opportunities

The growth of the Montney Shale Gas has yielded new gas opportunities in north-western Alberta and north-eastern British Columbia, modifying the dynamics of the infrastructure systems that are gathering, processing, and transferring products in these areas. Conventional natural gas production in most areas of Western Canada has steadily declined over the past decade. Growth from new Tight Gas and Shale Gas opportunities is contributing to the halt of this overall decline. The re-evaluation of how existing and future infrastructure is developed, managed, and operated, may be necessary going forward.

Reservoir Evaluation

Application of horizontal well drilling and the related multi-stage fracture stimulation has allowed significantly more opportunity for exploitation of shale gas reservoirs. With lengthy lateral sections, petrophysical evaluation of the horizontal section becomes increasingly more significant. The retrieval of open hole logging data gives Completions Engineers the information required for the optimum placement of fracture intervals. Absence of this data and use of generic interval spacing (every ~100m as an example), could result in underperforming or futile fracture intervals, ultimately wasting tens of thousands of dollars. With Cordax's Logging While Tripping (LWT) system, open hole logs can be obtained safely and more cost effectively in any horizontal well.

Although the Montney is commonly referred to as a “Gas Shale”, it actually contains very little “true shale”. The reservoir sediment is of fine sand to silt in size, containing variably thick carbonate beds. The illustration below shows microphotos of 4 distinct facies in the Montney moving from west to east across west central Alberta. Porosity, grain size, saturation, and permeability vary considerably.

The Structure of the Montney Formation

The Montney is a NW-SE trending, lens-shaped formation that straddles the border between British Columbia and Alberta. The map below illustrates the major rock types throughout the Montney Formation. Along the eastern edge, the Montney Formation includes shallow-water marine interbedded sandstone and siltstone. At the northeastern edge, in the Ring-Border area of northeastern British Columbia and northwestern Alberta, the Montney Formation comprises a series of shoreface sandstones and restricted lagoonal siltstones and shales. The shallow-water eastern facies thickens to the west into a deeper water sequence of siltstones and shales belonging to middle shelf, outer shelf and shelf-slope environments.

Below is a cross section of the Montney Formation throughout NW Alberta and NE British Columbia. 

New Opportunities

The growth of the Montney Shale Gas has yielded new gas opportunities in north-western Alberta and north-eastern British Columbia, modifying the dynamics of the infrastructure systems that are gathering, processing, and transferring products in these areas. Conventional natural gas production in most areas of Western Canada has steadily declined over the past decade. Growth from new Tight Gas and Shale Gas opportunities is contributing to the halt of this overall decline. The re-evaluation of how existing and future infrastructure is developed, managed, and operated, may be necessary going forward.

Reservoir Evaluation

Application of horizontal well drilling and the related multi-stage fracture stimulation has allowed significantly more opportunity for exploitation of shale gas reservoirs. With lengthy lateral sections, petrophysical evaluation of the horizontal section becomes increasingly more significant. The retrieval of open hole logging data gives Completions Engineers the information required for the optimum placement of fracture intervals. Absence of this data and use of generic interval spacing (every ~100m as an example), could result in underperforming or futile fracture intervals, ultimately wasting tens of thousands of dollars. With Cordax's Logging While Tripping (LWT) system, open hole logs can be obtained safely and more cost effectively in any horizontal well.

Although the Montney is commonly referred to as a “Gas Shale”, it actually contains very little “true shale”. The reservoir sediment is of fine sand to silt in size, containing variably thick carbonate beds. The illustration below shows microphotos of 4 distinct facies in the Montney moving from west to east across west central Alberta. Porosity, grain size, saturation, and permeability vary considerably.

The Structure of the Montney Formation

The Montney is a NW-SE trending, lens-shaped formation that straddles the border between British Columbia and Alberta. The map below illustrates the major rock types throughout the Montney Formation. Along the eastern edge, the Montney Formation includes shallow-water marine interbedded sandstone and siltstone. At the northeastern edge, in the Ring-Border area of northeastern British Columbia and northwestern Alberta, the Montney Formation comprises a series of shoreface sandstones and restricted lagoonal siltstones and shales. The shallow-water eastern facies thickens to the west into a deeper water sequence of siltstones and shales belonging to middle shelf, outer shelf and shelf-slope environments.

Below is a cross section of the Montney Formation throughout NW Alberta and NE British Columbia. 

New Opportunities

The growth of the Montney Shale Gas has yielded new gas opportunities in north-western Alberta and north-eastern British Columbia, modifying the dynamics of the infrastructure systems that are gathering, processing, and transferring products in these areas. Conventional natural gas production in most areas of Western Canada has steadily declined over the past decade. Growth from new Tight Gas and Shale Gas opportunities is contributing to the halt of this overall decline. The re-evaluation of how existing and future infrastructure is developed, managed, and operated, may be necessary going forward.

Reservoir Evaluation

Application of horizontal well drilling and the related multi-stage fracture stimulation has allowed significantly more opportunity for exploitation of shale gas reservoirs. With lengthy lateral sections, petrophysical evaluation of the horizontal section becomes increasingly more significant. The retrieval of open hole logging data gives Completions Engineers the information required for the optimum placement of fracture intervals. Absence of this data and use of generic interval spacing (every ~100m as an example), could result in underperforming or futile fracture intervals, ultimately wasting tens of thousands of dollars. With Cordax's Logging While Tripping (LWT) system, open hole logs can be obtained safely and more cost effectively in any horizontal well.

Nearly 80% of NuVista’s 2013 capital budget was allocated to the Wapiti Montney play. Birchcliff Energy Ltd. had a 2013 budget including 25 Montney/Doig horizontal natural gas wells and one Montney/Doig vertical exploration well. Of Birchcliff’s 25 horizontal wells, 24 wells are targeting the Middle/Lower Montney Play and one well is targeting the Basal Doig/Upper Montney Play.

This is a snapshot of today's active rigs in the region where the Montney is typically the target formation. 

In-Depth Look

The Montney Shale possesses many attractive characteristics for exploitation, such as:

  • Highly pressurized formation with significant natural gas reserves

  • High NGL content

  • Very high estimated recoveries

  • Sweet gas

  • Intermediate drilling depths

  • Rock that is fracture capable

  • Relatively flat declines when compared with other shale plays

Although the Montney is commonly referred to as a “Gas Shale”, it actually contains very little “true shale”. The reservoir sediment is of fine sand to silt in size, containing variably thick carbonate beds. The illustration below shows microphotos of 4 distinct facies in the Montney moving from west to east across west central Alberta. Porosity, grain size, saturation, and permeability vary considerably.

The Structure of the Montney Formation

The Montney is a NW-SE trending, lens-shaped formation that straddles the border between British Columbia and Alberta. The map below illustrates the major rock types throughout the Montney Formation. Along the eastern edge, the Montney Formation includes shallow-water marine interbedded sandstone and siltstone. At the northeastern edge, in the Ring-Border area of northeastern British Columbia and northwestern Alberta, the Montney Formation comprises a series of shoreface sandstones and restricted lagoonal siltstones and shales. The shallow-water eastern facies thickens to the west into a deeper water sequence of siltstones and shales belonging to middle shelf, outer shelf and shelf-slope environments.

Below is a cross section of the Montney Formation throughout NW Alberta and NE British Columbia. 

New Opportunities

The growth of the Montney Shale Gas has yielded new gas opportunities in north-western Alberta and north-eastern British Columbia, modifying the dynamics of the infrastructure systems that are gathering, processing, and transferring products in these areas. Conventional natural gas production in most areas of Western Canada has steadily declined over the past decade. Growth from new Tight Gas and Shale Gas opportunities is contributing to the halt of this overall decline. The re-evaluation of how existing and future infrastructure is developed, managed, and operated, may be necessary going forward.

Reservoir Evaluation

Application of horizontal well drilling and the related multi-stage fracture stimulation has allowed significantly more opportunity for exploitation of shale gas reservoirs. With lengthy lateral sections, petrophysical evaluation of the horizontal section becomes increasingly more significant. The retrieval of open hole logging data gives Completions Engineers the information required for the optimum placement of fracture intervals. Absence of this data and use of generic interval spacing (every ~100m as an example), could result in underperforming or futile fracture intervals, ultimately wasting tens of thousands of dollars. With Cordax's Logging While Tripping (LWT) system, open hole logs can be obtained safely and more cost effectively in any horizontal well.