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The purpose of this bulletin is to provide guidance on the use of shale gas fluid codes for designating production in the Petroleum Registry of Alberta (PRA). Six stratigraphic intervals that generally consist of mudstone or shale successions are identified. Gas-producing zones within these intervals but outside of conventional pools may reasonably be designated as shale gas. Guidance is also provided for assessing zones outside of these six intervals with respect to the use of shale gas fluid codes.
This bulletin replaces Bulletin 2009-23: Shale Gas Development—Definition of Shale Identification of Geological Strata.
Shale Gas Zones in Alberta
Shale gas zones are pervasive, predominantly mudstone or shale successions that have potential to produce natural gas. The following are the six stratigraphic intervals in Alberta identified as having a predominant lithology of mudstone and/or shale successions (refer to Energy Resources Conservation Board [ERCB] Table of Formations for stratigraphic equivalencies):
Gas produced from zones within these six identified intervals can reasonably be classified as shale gas through the use of shale gas fluid codes submitted to the PRA provided that
For each of the shale gas stratigraphic intervals, a representative map and cross section will be available on the ERCB Web site www.ercb.ca to show the current understanding of the approximate distribution of the stratigraphic interval, the pool orders, and the variation of lithological character (shown by log traces).
If a shale gas fluid code is used for production from any other stratigraphic interval, the operator must be able to provide supporting evidence that production is occurring from hydrocarbon-bearing mudstone and/or shale successions.
As a general guide, a mudstone/shale succession may be defined by one or more of the following:
All uses of shale gas fluid codes are subject to review by the ERCB.
Questions regarding the choice of shale gas fluid codes should be directed to Sharleen Ramos, Energy Resources Conservation Board, 640 – 4 Avenue SW, Calgary, Alberta, T2P 3G4; telephone: 403-297-2190; fax: 403-297-2592; e-mail: email@example.com.
<original signed by>
Brenda Austin, P.Geol.
Acting Executive Manager
Geology, Environmental Science and Economics Branch