The Montney Formation is a gift from the gods. But in Canada, it may well remain a geological marvel instead of an economic one
Straddling the B.C.-Alberta border lies the most valuable Canadian resource you’ve never heard of: the trillion-dollar Montney Formation, a giant gas field the size of New Brunswick and Nova Scotia combined. Its potential is huge but its future is uncertain. With the federal government’s proposed emissions cap, it may remain a sleeping giant.
The Montney Formation is a colossus, bigger even than the U.S.A.’s renowned Marcellus field, which helped set off the shale revolution. Largely overlooked before the innovation of hydraulic fracturing and horizontal drilling made it economically viable to exploit, it is now tapped to supply the nascent west coast LNG industry.
Its features make an oil geologist’s heart sing. It is huge; 130,000km2 to be exact. It is very thick; over 300m in some parts. And it is over-pressured, its hydrocarbons packed in like sardines. This all adds up to enormous reserves: a gas-in-place endowment of 1,965 trillion cubic feet (tcf), of which more than 449 tcf is recoverable with today’s technologies.
To get a handle on those numbers: Canada currently uses about 3.2 tcf a year so the Montney could supply us for over a century. And it contains the full spectrum of hydrocarbons: not only copious amounts of methane but a rich complement of natural gas liquids such as propane and butane and billions of barrels of oil to boot.
For the rest of this column: https://financialpost.com/opinion/opinion-unleash-the-montney-canadas-world-class-gas-field-is-waiting-to-be-tapped