Canadian Oil Reserves
- Ralph Arnold | Walter A. English
- Document ID
- Society of Petroleum Engineers
- Transactions of the AIME
- Publication Date
- December 1923
- Document Type
- Journal Paper
- 985 - 988
- 1923. Original copyright American Institute of Mining, Metallurgical, and Petroleum Engineers, Inc. Copyright has expired.
- 7.4 Energy Economics
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Though production began in Canada only a short time after the discovery ofoil in the United States, it has never attained large proportions, and if wewere to judge entirely by the past the reserves of Canada would be put at avery low figure. There are only two areas from which oil is marketed at thepresent time; one, the old district around Petrolia in southern Ontario, andthe other is the small Sheep Creek field near Calgary in Alberta. The formerdistrict has produced between 200,000 and 800,000 bb1. annually for the past 40years, recent figures being near the minimum amount. Sheep Creek has producedabout 12,000 bb1. annually for the past five years. The known reserves inproved territory in each of these fields are exceedingly small, when consideredin terms of world reserves.
The chief hope of Canada for reserves of considerable magnitude lies in thewestern provinces. Sedimentary rocks similar to those in the productive fieldsof the United States occupy thousands of square miles in the western provinces,so that it seems likely that somewhere within this great area the peculiarconditions necessary for the presence of oil pools will be found. Prospectingis being carried on energetically by several large companies, as well as bymany independents. The Dominion Government, which controls most of the publiclands, is pursuing a fairly liberal policy toward the prospector, which shouldstimulate wildcatting, although the province of British Columbia, whichcontrols public lands within that province, is at present unwilling to giveadequate encouragement to make wildcatting attractive.
As there is really no assurance that any productive pools will be found inwestern Canada, the estimates of reserves are subject to a wide possibility oferror. In making estimates, the various areas within which geologic conditionsare more or less uniform are discussed separately; the estimates given for eacharea are not given with the idea that there is a reasonable probability oftheir eventually proving to be correct.
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