ARCHIVED - New Geoscience Points to the Potential of Bent Horn Lands

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Volume 21, Number 4
May 2013

Wells on Cameron Island. Source: PEMT

Results from Canada’s GeoMapping for Energy and Minerals (GEM) program provide a fresh look at the Bent Horn oil field and the southern margin of the Sverdrup Basin in the Canadian High Arctic. These studies, listed below, shed new light on the source rock for the Bent Horn oil and on the structure and matrix porosity of the reservoir.

The Bent Horn oil field was discovered in 1974 and produced a total of 4.5x105 m3 or 2.8 million barrels between 1985 and 1996. The field was abandoned before being fully depleted. The reservoir is in the Devonian Blue Fiord Formation, a reefal limestone and is located in thrust fault slices in the upper part of an isolated, reef-rimmed carbonate bank. A detailed core study providing new insight into the rock matrix properties and paleo-environments of deposition is published in Wendte, 2012Footnote 1.

The Bent Horn oil was produced from partially opened fractures within the limestone, representing porosities between 1 and 3%. The oil produced from this field is a waxy light crude (43° API). Oil production was from late-formed open fractures related to thrust faults. Based on biomarker analyses, maturity and stratigraphic and geographic proximity to the Bent Horn oil field, the Silurian Cape Phillips Formation appears to be the most likely source rock for the hydrocarbons at Bent Horn (Dewing et al. 2009 Footnote 2 and Obermajer et al., 2010 Footnote 3).

The fractured nature of the reservoir and the complex structure of the field challenged the original development of this resource and estimation of recoverable oil. Duchesne et al., 2012 Footnote 4 demonstrate that seismic reprocessing of data can improve imaging of the faulted structure. Improved understanding of the geology and new drilling reservoir stimulation techniques warrant the reexamination of this field.

Seismic Lines on Cameron Island. Source: National Energy Board

Geoscience and related information on the Bent Horn lands are readily available on the web:

Visit our website for more information on the resource management regime.

Note: This Bulletin is for information purposes only.

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