Geoscience BC to build provincial natural gas atlas

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VANCOUVER, B.C. – On Thursday, Geoscience BC announced that it has embarked on a project to sample and profile natural gas from producing wells in the Peace River and Northern Rockies regions.

The information will improve the understanding of where natural gas liquids are located to enable gas producers to target higher-value gas streams and optimize gas revenue. The atlas will also help pinpoint potential sources of unintended natural gas emissions from industry activity, which can aid remediation efforts and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Researchers will systematically catalogue the composition and isotope signature of natural gases produced in British Columbia to establish their geochemical “fingerprints”. University of Victoria researchers will analyze, categorize and map over 2,000 samples from the BC Oil and Gas Commission’s database of natural gas samples. Results from this research project will be incorporated into the atlas, which is expected to be publicly available on Geoscience BC’s website starting in 2018.

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Geoscience BC is an independent, non-profit organization that generates earth science information in collaboration with First Nations, local communities, governments, academia and the resource sector.

“British Columbia is a large province with complex geology, and where innovation is putting us at the forefront of a safer, cleaner natural gas sector,” said Rich Coleman, British Columbia’s Minister of Natural Gas Development. “This new initiative by Geoscience BC is the perfect showcase of how we are able to use technology to further our commitments to environmental protection and responsible development.”

The BC Natural Gas Atlas is a three-year Geoscience BC-sponsored project, which is being led by Dr. Michael J. Whiticar, Professor, Biogeochemistry at the University of Victoria. The BC Oil and Gas Research and Innovation Society is also supporting the project as a funding partner with Geoscience BC.


For more information on the BC Natural Gas Atlas, please visit

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