The hydrocarbon resources of New Brunswick include coal, oil, natural gas, oil shale, and a solid bitumen called albertite. All known hydrocarbon deposits are located in the Late Devonian-Carboniferous Maritimes Basin, which underlies the eastern part of the province. New Brunswick has produced all five hydrocarbons at some point during its 350 years of mining history.
Natural gas is now being produced in the province with the recent discovery of the McCully Field near Sussex, and oil is again being pumped from the Stoney Creek Field near Hillsborough.
The Geological Surveys Branch (GSB) of the Department of Natural Resources and Energy Development is responsible for all geoscientific aspects of hydrocarbon resource management in the Province. The key objective of its Hydrocarbon Resources Program is to promote hydrocarbon exploration.
Under its Hydrocarbon Resources Program, the GSB:
- conducts fieldwork and produces maps and other publications about the geological controls on hydrocarbon distribution in the Maritimes Basin; and
- compiles and manages hydrocarbon databases to help the private sector explore for oil, natural gas, coal, and oil shale in New Brunswick.
In the past century, the Department of Natural Resources and Energy Development has accumulated a large body of oil and gas exploration data. Because of the recent growth in exploration and development activity and the subsequent increase in the number of requests for information, it has become necessary to convert all non-confidential exploration, development and production data into electronic format. Most of the maps and reports produced by the branch are available for download, free of charge. Related metadata information can be accessed from various searchable databases.
A summary of reflection seismic surveys completed between 1948 and the present focuses on surveys which have yielded deep bedrock profiles useful for stratigraphic and /or structural interpretation. The geographic locations of all surveys the details on availability and format can be accessed from the publications section. The data profiles cover in excess of 2500 kilometres onshore and 13,000 kilometres offshore.
The Borehole Catalogue summarizes the data available for 788 wells that have been drilled in the Maritimes and Fundy basins since 1908.
Core and Cutting
The Department of Natural Resources and Energy Development maintains a collection of all cores and samples taken from oil and natural gas exploration, bituminous shale exploration, and underground storage exploration or stratigraphic tests. Records indicate that in excess of 35,000 metres of core and cuttings representing 240,000 metres are maintained in storage.