OCGC Seminar - First of Many? The Jurassic Deep Panuke Gas Field, Off-shore Nova Scotia


Canadian Society of Petroleum Geologists (CSPG)
University Outreach Lecture Tour

John Weissenberger 
P.Geo., ATW Associates/Gran Tierra Energy  

Thursday, March 2nd 
11:30 a.m.

233 Advanced Research Complex 
25 Templeton Street 
University of Ottawa  



The Deep Panuke gas field was discovered by PanCanadian Petroleum (now EnCana/Cenovus) in 1998, with the drilling of the PP-3C well. The well was drilled in 90m of water, 250km southeast of Halifax, Nova Scotia. Subsequent delineation and development drilling proved a significant gas accumulation.

The gas is trapped, by a combined structural-stratigraphic configuration, in Upper Jurassic reefal and oolitic limestones and dolomites of the Abenaki Formation. The Jurassic carbonate platform on the Scotian Shelf was attached to a metamorphic hinterland, so that the sediments contain varying amounts of siliciclastics. Abundant secondary porosity was encountered, ranging from leached matrix and intercrystalline to vuggy and/or cavernous. Textural, petrographic, and isotopic evidence suggests that deep burial and hydrothermal diagenetic processes caused the porosity. The gas is believed to have been sourced from adjacent Verrill Canyon Formation shales, whereas the small amount of hydrogen sulphide present in the gas has been linked to syn-rift evaporites underlying the Abenaki.

The Abenaki is divided into seven third-order depositional sequences, the Abenaki V being the primary gas reservoir. These sequences have been regionally correlated using geology and a grid of two-dimensional seismic data. Threedimensional seismic was used in delineation drilling and reservoir characterization. Outcrop analogues in Morroco, Portugal and Switzerland were used to constrain the depositional and reservoir model. Deep Panuke was the first, and remains today, the only significant hydrocarbon discovery in the Mesozoic carbonates of the continental shelf of eastern North America. 



Through 30 years in the oil and gas industry, with Esso Resources, Canadian Pacific, Husky Energy (and now Gran Tierra Energy), John has worked projects in Western Canada, the North American frontiers as well as internationally. He is co-discoverer of the giant Deep Panuke gas field, off-shore Nova Scotia, amongst others. He holds degrees in geology from the University of Western Ontario (Hons B.Sc.), Université de Montréal (M.Sc.) and University of Calgary (PhD). His main areas of research are sequence stratigraphy and palaeontology and he has published on these and related subjects. While at Canadian Pacific (PanCanadian) and Husky he managed several industrial/academic research partnerships, working with universities in Canada, the U.S. and Europe.