Our Exploration Program

Our exploration program has four major components: airborne gravity and magnetic surveys, surface geochemistry, 2D seismic imaging, and exploratory wells. Each of these is a separate component of the exploration process. So far, we have performed airborne gravity and magnetic surveys, surface geochemistry, and 2D seismic imaging, all without impact on the environment.

Airborne Gravity and Magnetic Surveys

Through a third-party contactor, we used specially equipped aircraft to obtain readings of the earth that indicate the potential presence of a basin deep underground. The company operated two aircraft to collect data, one plane collected both gravity and magnetic data, and the other plane collected only magnetic data. This data helps us develop a better understanding of the geological complexities under the licenced areas.

SWN Resources Canada - Airborne Gravity and Magnetic Surveys

Surface Geochemistry

We placed approximately 4,000 shoestring-length sleeves of absorbent materials into the ground over the span of our two-year program. Three weeks after the sleeves were placed; they were removed and analyzed for certain carbon-based compounds to help us understand if there is an active petroleum system at work deep underground.

SWN Resources Canada - Surface Geochemistry

2D Seismic Imaging

2D seismic imaging is temporary in nature and has minimal environmental impact. 2D seismic imaging uses sound wave technology, like an ultrasound, to create maps that show rock layers beneath the earth’s surface. This process creates a sound at or near the surface and records the return echoes from the earth with detectors called geophones. Car traffic, pedestrians walking, tree roots moving from the wind are recorded with this equipment along with the return echoes from the earth.

SWN Resources Canada - 2D Seismic Imaging

Exploratory Wells

In order to better understand the data we have gathered in the previous phases, SWN Resources Canada plans to drill a couple of exploratory wells. Exploratory wells involve drilling a vertical hole for the purpose of taking samples of the various rock layers to better understand the geology. In New Brunswick, typical depths for exploratory wells range from approximately 2,000 to 3,600 metres (approximately 6,500 – 11,000 feet).

SWN Resources Canada - Exploratory Wells

2D Seismic Imaging

2D seismic imaging is temporary in nature and has minimal environmental impact. 2D seismic imaging uses sound wave technology, like an ultrasound, to create maps that show rock layers beneath the earth’s surface. This process creates a sound at or near the surface and records the return echoes from the earth with detectors called geophones.

Geophones are sensitive devices that record very small movements in the earth. Car traffic, pedestrians walking, tree roots moving from the wind are recorded with this equipment along with the return echoes from the earth.

This sound may be created using one of two techniques depending on the surface conditions:

  • - Vibroseis Technique
  • - Shot Hole Technique
SWN Resources Canada - 2D Seismic Imaging

Vibroseis Technique

The vibroseis technique is only used on roadways and provides quality signals with minimal disturbance. Seismic vibrator trucks are equipped with an underlying vibrating plate to generate specific sound signals. When the plate is placed on the ground and activated, these signals are reflected off rock formations and recorded by the geophones located at the surface. The strength of the signal from one seismic vibrator truck is very small; several trucks need to be activated simultaneously to create a signal strong enough to be recorded. These vehicles create noise levels similar to that made by a logging truck.

SWN Resources Canada - Vibroseis Technique

Shot Hole Technique

The shot hole technique provides quality information and is an effective method when no roads are available. In this instance, we clear a maximum 3 metre-wide path for a drill vehicle in the woods. No vegetation larger than 15 centimeters in diameter is cut. The track-mounted drill vehicle drills a hole 15 metres deep. A small seismic source is placed at the bottom of the hole and is sealed with clay and drill cuttings per provincial regulations. When safely secured, the source is activated with specialized equipment. Afterwards, the area is restored to its original state.

SWN Resources Canada - Shot Hole Technique
What others are saying about us:
“Galbraith Seismic Services Ltd. was pleased to have the opportunity to partner with SWN Resources Canada and their contractors during the 2013 Exploration Program. SWN has always shared our commitment to employ licensed personnel from all parts of our province and are always ready to provide assistance and support. SWN’s overall philosophy to actively reduce any risk factors proved to be extremely effective as we shared a Safe & Secure Worksite. Their perseverance and commitment should not go unnoticed and we look forward to partnering with these exploration professionals in the future.”
Michael Galbraith
Galbraith Seismic Services Ltd
Grande-Digue, NB
  • 2013 Seismic Exploration Program – Complete

    SWN Resources Canada is pleased to announce that we have successfully completed our seismic acquisition program in New Brunswick. We would like to thank all New Brunswickers for their continued support.

  • Seismic Exploration Program – Fall 2013

    This fall, we will continue with seismic exploration in Eastern New Brunswick. Seismic exploration uses sound wave technology, to create images of what is deep in the ground. This process is temporary in nature.

  • Seismic Exploration Program – Summer 2013

    This summer, we will be continuing with our 2D seismic exploration program in eastern New Brunswick to examine the potential for oil and natural gas. Seismic exploration is temporary in nature and uses sound wave technology, like an ultrasound, to create images of what is deep in the ground. Before beginning our seismic exploration program, the Government of New Brunswick requires that we offer before and after water well testing for all wells within 200 metres of seismic work. During April and May, an independent engineering firm collected samples from landowners who have given permission. Water tests will be conducted by the Department of Environment and Local Government and complete results will be shared with landowners.