Geo-Economic Layer Development


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The geo-economic layers are based on qualitative ranking. Three layers were developed as follows:

Petroleum Potential

Petroleum potential was ranked using the following qualitative scale. It is based on the presence of known oil and gas discoveries, and, in the absence of discoveries, on the inferred presence of geological factors favourable to oil and gas accumulation. This is approach has been used previously by the Geological Survey of Canada in making general assessments of petroleum potential (e.g. Jefferson C.W., R.F.J. Scoates and D.R.Smith,, 1988. Evaluation of the regional non-renewable resource potential of Banks Island and Northwestern Victoria Islands, Arctic Canada. Geological Survey of Canada Open File 1695.)

Rank 1. VERY LOW POTENTIAL. Geological Environment is unfavourable. There are no known petroleum occurrences are known and a very low probability that undiscovered accumulations are present.

Rank 2 LOW. Some aspects of the geological environment may be favourable but are limited in extent. Few if any occurrences are known and there is a low probability that undiscovered accumulations are present.

Rank 3. MODERATE. Geological environment is favourable. Occurrences may or may not be known and the presence of undiscovered accumulations is possible.

Rank 4. HIGH. Geological environment is very favourable. Occurrences are commonly present but significant accumulations may not be known. Presence of undiscovered accumulations is very likely.

Rank 5. VERY HIGH POTENTIAL. Geological environment is very favourable. Significant accumulations are known.

These rankings are assigned to each grid area covered by the PEMT.

Note that quantitative estimates of petroleum potential are available for some areas covered by the PEMT. For reasons of consistency across the Arctic, and recognizing that a quantitative approach is not necessary for the purposes of this tool, qualitative assessment based on expert judgement is preferred.

Geological Uncertainty

Large areas of the Arctic have seen little exploration for oil and gas. Consequently, there can be considerable uncertainty as to whether oil and gas accumulations are present and to their potential size. An exploratory well is the most direct way to collect subsurface information and to prove the presence or absence of an accumulation or favourable geological factors. Proximity of a well is therefore taken as a proxy for uncertainty. A simple uncertainty ranking was developed using distance from a well as a measure of overall uncertainty as follows:

Rank 1. VERY LOW UNCERTAINTY. Grid has one or more exploratory wells within it.

Rank 2. LOW. The grid is within 25 km of an exploratory well.

Rank 3. MODERATE. The grid is between 25 and 75 km from an exploratory well.

Rank 4. HIGH. The grid is between 75 and 100 km from an exploratory well.

Rank 5. VERY HIGH UNCERTAINTY. The grid is further than 100 km from an exploratory well.

Economics of Development

Not currently available.