GEOLOGICAL MAPPING

Geological mapping of a region that may contain oil

Optimization of the gas and oil potential and reduced risk for oil exploration

Project Start:
June 2009
Length:
18 months

Mundiregina Resources, an oil and gas exploration firm, evaluates potential hydrocarbon deposits associated with permits located in the Gaspé Peninsula, Quebec, a region whose geology is favourable for discovering oil.

Context

Responding to a request from Mundiregina, Effigis was requested to conduct a geological study in order to gain a better understanding of the structural, stratigraphic and sedimentological framework for the permit zone. Multi-source data, including geophysical and geochemical data, and satellite imaging data, were integrated and analyzed. The geological interpretation was then validated by the field work. A reviewed geological map was produced and exploration targets were identified using 3D modelling.

Challenges

To perform a geological interpretation of the sub-surface structural architecture in the absence of drilling data. The study site had not undergone drilling surveys to date, and these data are generally essential for interpreting the 3D geological model. Moreover, the study region is characterized by limited access, high relief, and irregular distribution of surface geological observations. Under these conditions, the challenge is considerable: to carry out a valid geological interpretation in order to recommend pro-exploration zones.

Solutions

Relying on predictive remote mapping techniques, Effigis carried out a systematic interpretation of all integrated spatial data, including satellite data, topographical data, high-resolution magnetic data (total field, calculated gradients) and sediment geochemical data. A revised architecture of the fault systems and probable geological contacts was proposed and then validated using land surveys during which structural measurements were collected using GNSS OnPOZ products. Geological sections were interpreted and used to produce a 3D geological model, which allowed to target the most favourable exploration sectors.

Results

This project clearly shows the benefits of predictive mapping techniques when updating the geological knowledge on the territory, as well as Effigis’ ability to innovate in a context in which little geological sub-surface data are available. The approach used accelerates the updating of geological knowledge and reduces the risk when planning geological exploration work.

Takeaways:

  • Updating of geological knowledge on a difficult-to-access territory based on satellite and geophysical data, supported by land surveys
  • Development of a simple 3D geological modelling approach, based essentially on surface data
  • Targeting pro-exploration sectors and, in turn, reducing the risk associated with exploration
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CONTACT THE EXPERT

Michel Rheault

Vice-President Business Development – Earth Observation