Arrangements were completed this week whereby the SUN OIL COMPANY, major operator with headquarters in Philadelphia, acquired a permit covering oil and gas rights underlying 517,000 acres of Canadian Pacific Railway lands on the Southern Alberta Plains. The deal marks Sun's entry into the Western Canadian oil development picture. Its first venture in Canada was acquisition a year ago of 500,000 acres in northwestern Nova Scotia, over which considerable survey work has been completed and on which initial drilling is slated this year (See Oil Bulletin No. 365, Oct. 27th 1944).
Sun's South Alberta block has its eastern boundary about 15 miles west of California Standard's Princess discovery well, Alberta's first Plains producer from the Devonian Dolomito, and ties on to the west of California-Standard Imperial and independent holdings. (See Oil Bulletin No. 371, Dec. 8th 1944). The Sun block extends vast from the Duchess-Brooks area through Bassano, and north to the vicinity of Gom and Hussar.
The deal with Sun Oil was negotiated by Frank McMahon, Calgary drilling contractor, on behalf of a Syndicate composed of D. C. McDonald, C. C. Cross and three others, which secured the block under permit from the C. P. R. While the deal calls for a vary substantial cash payment, additional cash payments spread over the next five years, and a large sum to be paid out of a percentage of any production which might be secured, details of the agreement have not been released.
Sun Oil geologist L. W. Storm, from Dallas, Texas, arrived in Calgary a short time ago to look over the acreage and draft plans for the opening of offices at Calgary and arrangements for development of the holdings. He has now been joined by E. E. Gilbert, Sun geologist from Madison, Wisconsin. An intensive geological and geophysical investigation of the block is expected to get underway this Spring and Summer. Whether or not drilling will be inaugurated this year will depend upon the progress made and results of the investigation.
Two leading Western Canadian Independent oil companies and three Major oil groups have joined forces for the drilling this year of a deep Central Alberta Foothills structure long favorably regarded by the industry. The structure the BRAZEAU anticline. The backers of the test - the HOME OIL COMPANY, ANGLO CANADIAN OIL COMPANY, SHELL OIL COMPANY OF CANADA, IMPERIAL OIL LTD and SOCONY-VACUUM EXPLORATION LTD.
Their joint drill-test has been located about half a mile northeast of the structure's first venture, the unsuccessful but encouraging Home Oil-Brazeau No. 1. Like the Home test, the new well will be in unsurveyed territory, along the banks of Chungo Greek. The indicated location of the Home test is lsd 16 7-43-17w5th. The new well would therefore apparently be in the southwest quarter of Section 17-43-17w5th. The site is about 21 miles northwest of the coal mining town and railway terminus of Nordegg (Brazeau).
The new Brazeau well is to be drilled for the team by Shell Oil of Canada, using the heavy duty rotary rig which drilled the 12,056 foot Shell_Norman No. 1 and the 9,947 foot Shell No. 4-24-J wells at Jumping Pound. The rig has been dismantled at No. 4-24-J the discovery well at Jumping Pound - and is now being shipped north to Brazeau. (A new heavy-duty steam rotary is being assembled for coming Shell drilling at Jumping Pound).
While no official statement on the project has yet been made, it is understood that the program will be carried out through a syndicate (Homo-Brazeau Syndicate), which control leases and reservations totaling about 176,500 acres, covering the structure to be tested and the adjacent region. The acreage extends from Townships 42 to 47, in Ranges 21 west of the 5th meridian.
The participants in the new drilling actually got together some months ago, to back road construction along the Brazeau structure and a detailed Seismic investigation of the structure. Decision to drill has been reached on the basis of the information obtained in this survey.
The Home Oil venture, completed at 8,728 feet and abandoned in 1940, encountered two high-pressure gas zones, the second of which carried a fair volume of 56-57 API gravity naphtha. The first zone was at 6,645 feet, in the Blairmore formation Gas pressure blow the cable tools out of the hole, and a change was made from cable to rotary equipment. The second gas zone came in from 8,480 to 8,550 feet, yielding a flush of 9 to 10 million cu ft of gas, laden with naphtha in fair volume, per day. This zone came in the Kootenay-Fernie section. At 8,550 feet the bit faulted from Fernie into Blairmore, and drilling was finally suspended in Blairmore at 8,728 feet. Well Log shows Lower Banton from the surface to 6,390 feet, with faulting indicated from 4,750 to 4,900 feet. The Grit Bed was entered at 6,390 feet, the Blairmore at 6,400 feet. Coal showed at 6,604, 7,070 and 7,135 feet, with slackensiding evident in the latter two sections. The Fernie was entered about 8,500 feet, and the Fault to Blairmore at.8, 550 feet.
An interesting parallel may be drawn between Brazeau and Jumping Pound. Early Jumping Pound wells encountered encouraging gas and oil shows in upper formations, but faulted from Fernie to younger formations without reaching the Madison Limestone objective. After Seismic investigation, Shell moved east of these earlier wells, found gas and oil bearing Limestone on the crest of an adjoining anticline. Location of the new Brazeau venture repeats this procedure. Whether or not it will follow through with the limestone, and with production, will be determined by the drill this year.