Surveying the Utica, Lorraine Fairway: Three Distinct Plays

American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)

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 Lorraine formations.

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.

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