Two wells have been drilled near the north edge of the area at the town of Peace River. Drilling commenced near the top of the Peace River formation and passed through the underlying Lower Cretaceous formations into the Paleozoic formations below. Several other wells have been drilled along the valley of the Peace. These are distributed at varying intervals over a distance of 30 to 40 miles north from Peace River. One of the wells at Peace River — Victory Oil No. 1 — is situated at the west end of the railway bridge, and is reported to have reached a depth of 1807 feet. At present a small quantity of gas and a strong flow of sulphurous salt water are escaping from the hole. Another well on the east side of the river just north of the town is reported to have reached a depth of 1162 feet.
Heavy oil was encountered in some wells drilled north of this area but none proved commercially productive. In some of these wells, oil-bearing sands were stuck in the basal portion of the Loon River formation, which is in part a marine shale formation underlying the Peace River formation. The structure along the Peace north of the Peace River is not pronounced, but is in general anticlinal.
To date only the lower part of the Lower Cretaceous formations have been tested in an area to the north of the Peace River. There are more pronounced dips to the strata at several places within the area mapped than along the Peace to the north where the drilling has been done. The structure of the area is described in detail in a previous [report]. The maximum dip to the south is 50 to 60 feet to the mile and occurs within an east-west belt across the southern part of the area mapped. The structures evident in Upper Cretaceous beds at the surface are not necessarily superimposed on similar structures at depth, yet it is likely that the maximum dips at depth are to a certain extent coincident in position with similar conditions at the surface.
It is not the purpose here to indicate favorable drilling sites or to recommend drilling but in time there will likely be more tests for oil and gas made in this general area. If such are to be made, the writer feels that the more favorable structural conditions prevail south of the Peace between Watino and Spirit River.
There has been some drilling done in other areas somewhat removed from this where a greater thickness of Cretaceous has been drilled through than by the wells at Peace River and to the north. A well was drilled at High Prairie to a reported depth of 2205 feet. It commenced drilling in the upper part of the Smoky River shales. Two wells have been drilled near the northeast corner of Lesser Slave Lake. These started to drill in the upper part of the Smoky River shales. The deepest of these — International Oils No. 2 — was drilled to a depth of 3105 feet. Both have been abandoned without obtaining satisfactory results.
Two wells have been drilled in the valley of the Pouce Coupe River north and east of Rolla, British Columbia. One was drilled in section 26, township 80, range 13, by the Imperial Oil Company. According to Hume this well was drilled to a depth of 3057 feet, and other flows were encountered at greater depths. A second well was drilled further south in the Pouce Coupe valley. Its location is the northwest quarter of section 19, township 79, range 13, at the mouth of Saskatoon Creek. The writer has not been able to obtain any definite information as to its depth. It started near the base of the Smoky River shales or in the upper part of the Dunvegan formation, and at present is a flowing water well.
Thus, none of the tests made in the Peace River country have proven commercially productive, although oil and gas have been stuck in some wells. Most of the wells north of Peace River were drilled with a view to testing the Paleozoic formations at depth. The lower Cretaceous has been penetrated on the Pouce Coupe River at the west side of Alberta, and similar horizons have been drilled through at High Prairie and at the east end of Lesser Slave Lake. The results of such drilling do not give very favorable indications as to possibilities within the area mapped; yet it is the writer’s opinion that more favorable structural conditions prevail in parts of this area than in those already tested.
It is not recommended that further expenditures be made at present to test the oil possibilities within this area or those adjacent. But since such expenditures are frequently made irrespective of recommendations, it is felt that the above considerations may direct any such action to locations that appear to the writer to be the more favorable.