The Montney is a geological formation covering 130,000 square kilometres and spans 700 kilometres north to south, traversing the provincial boundary between northwest Alberta and Northeast British Columbia. The formation contains trillions of cubic feet of recoverable natural gas, and billions of barrels of recoverable natural gas liquids (NGLs), condensate and oil.

Source: National Energy Board

Development of conventional oil and natural gas reservoirs in Western Alberta and Northeast British Columbia have been ongoing for more than 50 years. This historical activity targeted oil and natural gas trapped at shallower depths in pockets of high-permeability, highly porous rock, which could be readily produced with vertical wells. 

Only in the last decade, have some of the deeper, unconventional resources, such as the Montney, become commercially viable. These unconventional reservoirs have less permeable and less porous rock.  The key to unlocking these resources has been the advent of pad-based horizontal drilling, and hydraulic multi-stage fracturing, which have significantly increased the productivity wells, while minimizing surface disturbances.

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