History of exploration


These milestones represent the decisive moments and steps that captured the public’s attention. What they don’t tell us is the story of all the work that went on behind the scenes—research, analysis, lab work, interpreting the data, discussing the many hypotheses about the nature of the deposit, and so much more.

To forge ahead with exploration, Pétrolia needed a partner. We needed a company that had financial resources and also one that shared our vision, because we believe wholeheartedly in respecting the environment and building harmonious relationships with the community. The Pétrolia– Québénergie partnership was a turning point for oil development on the Gaspé Peninsula.

After drilling Haldimand 1 and 2, further exploration and lab work were needed to better understand the oil pool before going forward. Once this groundwork was complete, we were ready to begin the project that would become Haldimand 4.

The Gaspé Peninsula: A Rich History of Oil Exploration

The roots of oil exploration on the Gaspé Peninsula can be traced back as far as 1836: that was when residents first discovered petroleum oozing up through the soil or cliffs, a phenomenon that can still be observed today in many parts of the peninsula.

People in the Gaspé have been drilling oil wells since 1860, often small-scale operations to obtain oil for personal use.

In the mid-19th century the Geological Survey of Canada mapped the main geological features of the Gaspé Peninsula. Geologists of the day noticed that local conditions resembled those in many of the world’s oil-producing regions. In the light of their findings, oil exploration began in earnest. In fact, the Gaspé Peninsula was one of the first areas in Canada explored by oil industry pioneers.

Starting in 1884, a series of scientific and government reports confirmed the presence of oil in the Gaspé Peninsula. But the area’s complex geology and the rudimentary technology available thwarted any plans for commercial production. Today, thanks to modern equipment and the high price of oil, Pétrolia believes the time has come for Quebecers to produce their own oil and partially offset their reliance on imports.

The Haldimand deposit, discovered in 2006, is located on the peninsula of the same name, just outside the city of Gaspé. An independent consultant estimated oil initially in place (OIIP) at close to 70 million barrels, and recoverable oil reserves at 7.7 million barrels.