Northwest Territories, Canada
McKenzie Corridor

Now available in Portable Document Format (pdf) for your convenience

Defining the timing and magnitude of paleo-thermal events controlling maturation histories and structural development

Geotrack - Alconsult non-exclusive THR studies



INTRODUCTION The concept of a petroleum system is only helpful if the variables or parameters used in the concept are known or constrained within known limits. Much time and effort is wasted in industry by developing “sophisticated” basin models that are fundamentally flawed due to errors in the thermal history of the basin sediments – i.e., time of maximum burial, time of generation, magnitude of heating. Geotrack International has worked over the last 15 years developing techniques and approaches that allow direct constraints on the thermal history of a sedimentary section for the purposes of finding oil and gas.

  • In the Central McKenzie Valley of the Northwest Territories, the timing of key events and their relative impact on the structural history and generation history is widely acknowledged as associated with high risk, principally because of its uncertainty.
Why not remove this uncertainty? While it is common practice to assume these parameters as part of software-driven basin modelling work or structural reconstructions, Geotrack has pioneered efforts worldwide to measure these critical parameters directly. In the NWT, any models describing the petroleum system will be severely impaired if critical parameters such as the timing of heating events are inferred rather than controlled by direct measurement.

SPECIFIC RELEVANCE TO THE NWT A fundamental issue concerning prospectivity in the region is the timing of active hydrocarbon generation from potential Devonian and Cambrian source rocks in the region. As an example - previous work in the region around Parcels 1 and 2 has suggested that the Devonian section reached peak maturity after Cretaceous time – i.e., in this case, there would be no break in the downhole maturity trend at the sub-Cretaceous unconformity. Our new integrated AFTA and VR results clearly shows this model is incorrect, and was likely to have been constructed by falsely attributing caved Cretaceous organic matter to an in-situ Devonian population. The new mini-well series also provides previously unavailable and direct control on the timing and magnitude of maturation levels of potential Cretaceous source rocks in the region. Such data and conclusions are essential for targeting commercial discoveries.

SCOPE AND COST OF FURTHER WORK On the map above, we show the location of the study wells. Each of the indicated wells have been studied using our thermal history approach and reports are available immediately. A study involving the 16 outcrop samples (shown as solid squares) is also available. We welcome suggestions for any new wells in the region, and would be pleased to make specific recommendations on target horizons for sampling. Please contact us to obtain the current pricing for each study. Alconsult International (Calgary) has assisted us on this project, and retains copies of all reports from the current mini-well series at their office to facilitate further discussion. We would be happy to answer any of your questions or work with you in devising a longer-term strategy to better understand the nature and influence of the thermal and uplift history of the region in relation to the petroleum system(s) in the region.

For further information

Geotrack International
Ian R. Duddy
37 Melville Rd
Brunswick West,  VIC  3055
phone: +61-3-9380-1077
fax: +61-3-9380-1477
Alconsult International
Lee Slind, Fred Calverley, Fred Rayer
Calgary, Alberta
phone: +1-403-262-5886
fax: +1-403-262-3544
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