The research suggests that such findings could result in a string of recent takeovers and land buys, which could yield impressive production gains for some of the world's largest oil companies.
In the study, conducted by the Alberta Energy Resources Conservation Board and Alberta Geological Survey, says within Alberta’s shale formations, which includes Duvernay, Montney and Muskwa, could be up to 3,324 trillion cubic feet of natural gas, 58.6 billion barrels of gas liquids and 423.6 billion barrels of oil.
The above figures put the deposits in the same league as some of the major U.S. shale plays that have had significant impact on the energy industry, shifting the focus from conventional operations to those of horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing.
Despite being Canada’s largest oil and gas producer, Alberta has been behind numerous other jurisdictions in identifying and tapping many of its shale prospects. As a result, development is still in the early stages.
The information also shows that Alberta now has huge potential even beyond its oil sands, which are currently seen as the world’s third-largest crude deposit, containing approximately 170 billion barrels of proven resources, with the potential of as much as 1.7 trillion barrels.
The news has caught the eye of some of the industries leading international energy companies, who have already begun making large wagers on the potential. The Duvernay and Montney have been targets in energy-making deals. Companies such as Encana Corp., Chevron Corp. and Talisman Energy are all amassing land positions with the intention of unlocking liquids-rich reserves.
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