Friday, August 28th - Session Overview

Heavy Oil/Oil Sands
Oil sands development and our understanding through time will be highlighted. We will have presentations looking at how horizontal development and the depressurization of the Devonian aquifer below the McMurray formation, lead to further understanding of the structural and potential diagenetic connectivity of the aquifer to the overlying cretaceous strata. We will also have presentations showcasing the differences that can be drawn from outcrop to core of analogous sedimentary facies will also be examined in detail.

Presenter 1

Core Expressions of 3D Photogrammetrically modeled outcrop- for estuary associate point bar complex in the Lower Cretaceous McMurrary formation, Christina River, AB Canada
Qi Chen and Murray Gingras

Presentation Overview
The lower Cretaceous McMurray Formation has been interpreted to represent fluvial through estuary sedimentary environments. The dominant sedimentary facies observed in the ore-bearing parts of the McMurray Formation include channel-associated cross-stratified sandstones (both tidally and fluvially dominated) and inclined Heterolithic Stratification (IHS) . Cross-stratified sandstones (F1) are associated with the energetic (channel thalweg) parts of fluvially and tidally dominated channels. IHS packages (F2) are interpreted as complex estuary-associated point bars tied to the meandering of channel belts. The main objective of this paper is to use cored examples of IHS and cross-stratified sandstones and compare those to outcrop examples of analogous sedimentary facies to consider the different understandings that can be drawn from each dataset. The observation from outcrop indicates that the F1 is transgressive in nature, and it was subsequently truncated by regressive tidal meandering point bars (F2). Such TR cycle pairing was put forward by Ranger and Gingras (2010) as is evidenced here and helps in formulating a sequence stratigraphic concept that is not entirely dominated by the lowstand formation of large and deep incised fluvial valleys.

About the Speaker

Qi Chen received her bachelor’s degree in geology with honor at University of Alberta in 2014. Upon completion of a master’s degree in Integrated Petroleum Geology, she went on to become a PhD student at Earth and Atmosphere Science, University of Alberta. Qi has a passion and has been working on analyzing stratigraphy, sedimentology and ichnology of the Oil Sand deposit in the McMurray Formation near the Christina Region. Her interest focuses on the reconstruction of depositional model of fluvial to tidal dominated estuary throughout the deposition of McMurray Formation, and compare it with typical estuary models around the world. Qi is the recipient of the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers Graduate Scholarship in geology 2019.


Presenter 2

Releasing the Pressure: Industry’s First Horizontal Devonian Depressurization Well at the Kearl Oilsands and Mine  

Lauren Eggie