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Surveying the Utica, Lorraine Fairway: Three Distinct Plays
Digital Elevation Model (DEM) of the St. Lawrence Lowlands Courtesy of MIR Télédétection Inc.
From west to east, with increasing geological complexity, the Utica and Lorraine
Shale Gas Fairway comprises three distinct plays. Each play, according to data
provided by Junex Inc., has a unique set of drilling and completion challenges:
- Shallow to medium depth platform (100 to 500 meters), TOC 0.5 to 3 percent.
- Medium to deep platform (500 to 2,000 meters), TOC 0.5 to 2.5 percent,
- Deep thrust belt (500 to 1,500 meters), TOC 1 to 5 percent.
Characterized by thermogenic gas, the shallow to medium depth platform sits west
of the Yamaska Growth Fault Zone, a pronounced structural feature that
parallels the St. Lawrence River.
Sandwiched in the middle, the normally faulted medium to deep autochthonous
platform contains gas condensate to dry thermogenic gas in the Utica and
The deep thrust (or allochthonous) belt sits east of the Logan’s Line, a prominent Thrust Faulted Zone paralleling the St. Lawrence River and related to the
culmination of the Taconic Orogeny during Ordovician time.
Characterized by gas condensate to dry thermogenic gas, this play has yet to be
tested during the recent wave of exploration, despite the fact that it produced
gas shows in historical wells.