Shell's Shelburne Basin Venture Exploration Project marks the first time 3D wide azimuth (WAZ) Seismic technology was used in Canada. This technology provides much clearer data in water depths of 1500m to 3500m, 250km to 350km offshore Nova Scotia.
In July 2014, Shell Canada Ltd. proposed to conduct an exploratory drilling program approximately 250km off the coast of Nova Scotia, consisting of exploration wells within exploration licenses 2423, 2424, 2425, 2426, 2429, and 2430, over a four year period from 2015 to 2019. Specific drilling locations will be determined using seismic data gathered as part of the Shelburne basin 3D seismic survey conducted in summer 2013.
Shell’s six exploration licenses cover a contiguous area of 19,845sq km about 300km offshore of Nova Scotia. They are located in water depths of between 500m and 3500m. Shell acquired the first four exploration licenses in 2012 and the other two in 2013 for a combined “Work Expenditure Bid” of approximately US$916.4 million. The exploration licenses are good for a period of six years.
Shell conducted the first 3D WAZ to be conducted offshore Canada last year, successfully acquiring 10,850sq km in one season. Although the venture team planned to acquire the seismic data over a two-year period they were successful in completing the survey in only one season, saving the company both time and additional costs.
The company will be conducting a seabed survey this spring to build upon the data acquired from the 3D WAZ seismic survey to further assess potential drilling locations for drilling. Pending regulatory approval, Shell anticipates starting drilling two wells in the second half of 2015.
Shell is the operator with a 50% interest with partners ConocoPhillips (30%) and Suncor (20%).