Upcoming Division Talk

Structurally influenced plays and trends in the WCSB

Marian J. Warren, Jenner GeoConsulting Inc.

Location: geoLOGIC classroom, Aquitaine Tower +15 level, 540-5th Avenue S.W., Calgary

November 22nd, 2018 | 12:00 Noon

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Exploration and development in the Plains portion of the WCSB have focussed traditionally on stratigraphic plays, with emphasis on sedimentological and stratigraphic data and interpretation.  Pursuit of structural plays in the foreland basin has been limited mainly to the Foothills fold-thrust belt immediately to the west. As production from long-exploited stratigraphic plays has matured in the foreland basin, new successes in conventional and unconventional reservoirs have become increasingly dependent on understanding the nature and distribution of sometimes subtle structural elements in the foreland basin.

Several unconventional and conventional play case studies highlight the value of understanding structural influence in new foreland basin play exploration and development. Example types include:

  •     Identifying subtle structural control on intersecting depositional facies belts, diagenetic pathways and potential trapping trends in Mississippian middle Banff Fm. helped high-grade prospective areas and make a significant discovery. Success involved a combination of reactivated basement structural trends, and Mississippian syn-depositional and Cretaceous post-depositional extensional faults.
  •     Recognizing syn-depositional extensional fault control of local paleodrainages and reservoir/ seal distribution in the Lower Cretaceous Mannville Gp. lead to local exploration success and useful regional application.
  •      Emerging awareness of compressional reactivation of earlier extensional faults in the basin offers opportunities both for conventional trapping and locally enhanced fracturing in unconventional plays.
  •     Highlighting published relationships between basement-rooted faults and heterogeneities in basin-centred gas production in Cretaceous intervals in the USA serves as analogy for considering similar relationships in the WCSB.

Synthesis of structural influences in the WCSB includes preliminary discussion of geographic distribution of different types of structural elements in the basin.


Marian Warren completed a PhD at Queen’s University, Canada. She subsequently worked at EnCana Corporation in Calgary for 11 years in roles as geologist, seismic interpreter and structural specialist for both domestic and international projects. As a result of successful WCSB projects at EnCana, she was a co-recipient of the CSPG Medal of Merit, winner of the AAPG Matson Award and served as an AAPG Distinguished Lecturer.


Marian became an independent consultant in 2008, with focus on exploration projects worldwide in structurally complex settings, and on developing and presenting industry training courses and field trips. She was also an Associate of Rock Deformation Research in the UK and US from 2009-2014.

Division Profile

Our meeting schedule is to have at least one informal brown-bag talk every month, except during the summer. Talks normally start at 12:00 noon and finish before 1:00 p.m. Each talk consists of a 40 minute technical presentation followed by a 10 minute question period. 

Involvement of our CSPG members is the key to the success of the Division. Individuals are encouraged to take part in all activities. Service companies are also encouraged to attend Division meetings and be involved in all Division activities. Basin Analysis and Sequence Stratigraphy Technical Division Talks are free to CSPG members. Please bring your lunch. For further information about the division, joining our mailing list, a list of upcoming talks, or if you wish to present a talk or lead a field trip, please contact either Steve Donaldson at (403) 808-8641 or Mark Caplan at (403) 975-7701.

Committee Members
Co-Chair: Steve Donaldson 
Co-Chair: Mark Caplan
Committee members: 
Dragos Distaru
Rob North
Russ Phillips
Richard Wong

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Past Presentations

April 27th, 2016
Sequence Stratigraphic Analysis of Mixed, Reefal Carbonate and Siliciclastic Systems - Ashton Embry
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March 11th, 2015
Geological Risk - Kirk Osadetz
Download Slides (.PDF) 

March 14th, 2014
The Future of Gas Hyrdates as a Fuel - Kirk Osadetz 
Download Slides (.PDF) 
February 11th, 2014
Alberta Hydrocarbon - Bearing Shales & Siltstones - Steve Lyster & Dean Rokosh
Download Slides (.PDF)