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Great Basins of North America

Certain portions of Quebec’s sedimentary basins present striking similarities with several prolific basins in the United States.

Map of Distribution of Features

Quebec’s Petroleum Basins

(Click to enlarge)

The five great basins and their development potential:

Sedimentary Basins Surveyed
(in km)
1/3 420
1/8 645
1/14 900

Gaspé Basin
This basin possesses the longest history of exploration in Quebec. This began with the first discovery of natural seeps in 1836. As far is as seismic geophysics and drilling are concerned, the observed facts are clear: the knowledge of Gaspé is at a premature stage. It is nevertheless encouraging to see that several wells have given indications of petroleum and gas.

Anticosti Basin
Exploration of this basin took off in the 60’s. The knowledge of this basin is not in-depth, bearing in mind that the biggest part of the basin is located under water, making the rock accessible solely by drilling. Nevertheless, if the recently proposed geological models prove valid, this basin could offer a potential equivalent to the Leduc deposit in Alberta.

Magdelen Basin
The part of this basin located in Quebec is practically speaking under water. Only three drillings have been done in Quebec’s part; seven wells have been drilled outside Quebec, two of which have produced hydrocarbons. Here again, we may term the stage of exploration “premature”. This megastructure, it is estimated, could conceal recoverable reserves equivalent to 20 or 25 years of Quebec’s hydrocarbon consumption.

Saint Lawrence Lowlands Basin
The year 1873 marked the début of this basin’s exploration. In 1954, the Pointe-du-Lac deposit was brought to light. With the arrival of Shell and Soquip in 1969, exploration was done on a more certain technical and scientific. In 1973, the St-Flavien deposit was discovered, which produced from 1980 to 1994. These two deposits are now used up and have been converted for the storage of natural gas. The Lowlands basin is the one that has known the highest level of exploration. Its potential is still valued as promising, but the maturity of its exploration remains slight.

Saint Lawrence Estuary Basin
It can be said the exploration of this basin is taking its very first steps. Not counting two shallow core samplings, no drilling has yet been carried out here.


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