Exshaw Shale - Exshaw Oil Formation - Exshaw Shale Map

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Exshaw Shale Formation - Montana, Alberta Canada, British Columbia Canada - Natural Gas & Oil Field

Alberta Key Cities - Edmonton, Calgary

Montana Counties - Glacier County, Toole County, Flathead County, Pondera County, Teton County, Lake County , Powell County, Lewis & Clarke County, Liberty County, Hill County

What is the Exshaw Shale Formation?  The Exshaw Shale is shale rock formation that is Mississippian aged and could hold a vast amount of Oil & Natural Gas.  The Exshaw Shale is located in Alberta, Canada and extends down into Western Montana and could extend as far north as Northeastern British Columbia, home to the Horn River Shale.  It is important to note that in Montana, the Exshaw Formation is on the western side of the Williston Basin which is where we find the large oil field known as the Bakken Shale.  The Exshaw Shale is sometimes even associated with the Bakken Formation ( Bakken/Exshaw Oil Play ) but they are two seperate zones. 

Question on Conference Call:  You characterized the Exshaw as being similar to Bakken. Could we talk in a little bit more technical detail in terms of comparability between the two?

David Wood - Murphy Oil (MUR)

Happy to. It’s a geological equivalent. If you look at the make-up in terms of how it looks as a section, it’s about 10% thinner overall than the sweet spots of the Bakken. It does have the same carrier bed in the middle. So, given the results of the Bakken where that is a key contributor to how wells perform, lateral wells perform with regard that is being very positive. It has very similar geologic characteristics. The oil that was recovered from the two wells on acreage we have is good quality oil, low-30 gravity. The section is over pressured. So, it is quite analogous. I didn’t really want us to stop calling it back because we don’t have enough data yet and geologically things change over these long distances, but it does have a lot of very similar characteristics.

Between 2008-2010, new drilling technologies that were used in the Barnett Shale & Haynesville Shale have spread all across North America and are finding their way into areas such as the Exshaw Shale, Eagle Ford Shale, and Niobrara Shale.  Higher oil prices are causing companies to really explore several new geologic formations and the Exshaw Shale is the latest new discovery to hit the stage.  The Exshaw Shale could turn out to be a huge oil field and provide massive amounts of jobs and money from mineral rights land leases.  Be sure to check out the companies below to find out the latest drilling and production activity.

Named after the outcrop formation in Exshaw, Canada, the Exshaw Shale is up to 87 meters thick and oil shows have been found at depths between 4,000-5,000 feet.  The fact that the Exshaw is so close to the Bakken is a very positive indicator in itself as the Bakken is the United States " Oil Super Giant " field.  Drilling acitivty has gone through the roof in just three years.  With the Exshaw Shale Play running close to two huge cities in Canada ( Edmonton, Calgary ), the potential here is very large for citizens there.

While we are just starting to hear positive news regarding the Exshaw Formation, companies are keeping quiet.  We will update this website page when hear more so check back soon.

Exshaw Shale Map
exshaw shale map
Oil & Natural Gas Field - Exshaw Formation

Companies Drilling in the Exshaw Shale - Exshaw Shale Stocks

Murphy Oil MUR - Our North American resource position provides a nice complement to our global exploration activity and in September we announced entry into a fourth play, this one in Southern Alberta targeting the oil-prone Exshaw formation which is analogous to the Bakken play on the U.S. side of the border. We are moving forward with plans for early drilling next year to appraise our position, which we continue to grow on a now close to 150,000 net acres. 

We’re still trying to grow our position there and so have an active effort but we want to get to drilling and we’ll probably move a rig in and be drilling the first well in January and the first phase for us when we get into these plays is to do some appraising and so we’ll probably have six wells in that appraisal program that will be drilled consecutively and this will drill core and likely test. We’re fortunate in on some of our acreage is already two old wells that have recovered oil. They weren’t drilled for this particular actual horizon but they did recover some oil. So we have a good place to start and I’m pretty encouraged.

We talk about that acreage being Exshaw play but there really is two other horizons that are equally in our mind today perspective. The Exshaw is the deepest horizon but we see a jurassic [ph] level called Wadden [ph] and a shallow cretaceous level called the Second White Speckled Shale which is a ugly name but that’s what it’s called, is also being perspective and so our appraisal program is going to target some of those horizons to also see if they have some running room as well. So I’m pretty excited about the play, its early days and we won’t get after.

Exshaw 2012 Update - While our South Alberta play has witnessed mixed results early on, we have just seen our best well come on production. It IP-ed at over 300 barrels a day and has naturally flowed for 42 consecutive days near that level on a small choke. It's high-quality oil, and we are budgeted to drill and complete 2 more wells in this play this year with an ongoing review to increase that number based on this recent good news. We have also entered a fifth North American resource play and are continuing to build a land position, which currently stands at well over 100,000 net acres. We are drilling our first well in the play now and expect to be able to discuss it more detail by the next quarterly update.

Quicksilver Resources KWKThe company has also recently spudded a horizontal well to test the Exshaw formation, encountered at a vertical depth of approximately 4,350 feet, for commercial oil. 

The company recently spudded a shallower horizontal well to test for oil in the Exshaw formation at approximately 4,400 feet. We’ve had good oil shows drilling through this zone in each deeper gas well we have drilled, so we are excited about this testing of the formation.

DeeThree Exploration (TSX:DEE) - Bakken/Exshaw Oil Play - Although the Company's recent drilling results targeting the shallow horizons have fallen short of our expectations, management firmly believes that our Lethbridge property holds tremendous potential for shallow crude oil and natural gas as well as light crude oil from the Bakken/Exshaw formations.

With over 100 sections of lands that the Company feels is prospective from the Bakken/Exshaw coupled with DeeThree's ownership of all facilities and pipeline infrastructure in the area, DeeThree is well positioned to capitalize on this emerging oil play, which boasts potential for exceptional recoverable oil reserves per section. As a result, the Company has shifted its focus to the exploration and development of the Bakken/Exshaw oil play on our undeveloped land holdings.

DeeThree has two firm drilling locations identified for vertical stratigraphic tests of the Bakken/Exshaw fairway to be completed by year-end and anticipates drilling another six locations (four vertical, two horizontal) during the first half of 2011. These locations are designed to test multiple intervals within the play across the Company's large acreage position. The Company has also commenced a 20-section 3-D seismic program over a portion of these lands, and upon completion (estimated for November 15, 2010); DeeThree will have also fulfilled its second year seismic commitment on the Lethbridge property.

Nexen NXY - One last question just on the Horn River. One operator was yesterday talking about an oils owner, oil resource play kind of over-line the Horn River shale, is that something you guys have looked at yet or what is your thoughts on that I guess?

Marvin Romanow - CEO of Nexen

Yeah, we quote some of that area, we do see oil staining, we are evaluating what the possibilities are there and we maybe pursuing some activities on that.

Andrew Potter - CIBC World Markets

What is the zone; is this the Bakken or Bakken/Exshaw?

Marvin Romanow - CEO of Nexen

It’s the Exshaw.

Devon Energy DVN -   And then one other question, now shifting to the Horn River Basin and thinking about any opportunities beyond just gas and hearing some opportunities on the oil and more liquids side. Is there anything on your acreage or any plans to try to test that in the Horn River Basin, or extending that into Alberta kind of chasing the same trend?

John Richels - President of Devon Energy

Yes, there is some potential up there, David. There is a -- specifically, it appears maybe an Exshaw oil play that exists or there's been some people that have talked about -- specifically, I know Quicksilver is talking about potential up there is immediately to the west of the Northern part of our Horn River play. We do plan to evaluate that oil potential with our future drilling program. We don't have a lot of details on it as we speak, but we recognize the potential exists there. We just need to get some more work done it to really evaluate how significant that may be.

Forest Oil FST - Forest Oil (FST) has acreage that is prospective to the Exshaw Formation.  They are currently testing the an area called the Evi light oil play. 

Canadian Peace River Arch - Evi Light Oil Play

Forest holds approximately 48,000 gross and 41,000 net acres in the Evi Light Oil play in north central Alberta, Canada. This area provides for a significant development opportunity for premium-priced light oil through shallow horizontal development drilling opportunities.

During the first quarter of 2011, Forest resumed operations in the Evi area with a three-rig development program, drilling a total of 17 short lateral length horizontal wells, utilizing new pad drilling techniques, and increasing the number of fracture stimulation stages from an average of six to ten stages. As of March 31, 2011, 11 of these wells were in various stages of completion. Seven of the 11 wells have achieved average maximum initial production rates of 300 Bbls/d while the remaining four wells are cleaning up after fracture stimulation. The six uncompleted wells are expected to be completed after the conclusion of spring break-up.

Rosetta Resources (ROSE) - Rosetta Resources (ROSE) has acreage that is prospective to the Exshaw Shale - Rosetta's 11-well vertical drilling program to assess the commerciality of the play across its approximately 300,000-acre position in northwest Montana is nearing completion. The Company had two rigs under contract during the quarter. As of March 31, 2011, eight vertical delineation wells had been drilled with operations underway on the ninth and tenth vertical wells.

During the second quarter of 2011, one additional vertical well is planned. Based on encouraging vertical well results, Rosetta will spud the first of three horizontal wells in the second quarter.    

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