Oil Production In Manitoba And The Major Producing Formations

By Mark Young, Evaluate Energy

In terms of western Canadian provinces, oil production in Manitoba is undoubtedly a much smaller case study than production in Alberta, British Columbia or neighbouring Saskatchewan. All of the province’s active wells as of August 31, 2015, are located in a small triangle of acreage located deep in Manitoba’s southwest corner on the border with Saskatchewan to the west and the United States to the south.


Source: CanOils Assets (see note 1). Click here for Map Legend — includes all oil, injection, disposal and other wells.

From which formations is Manitoba’s oil produced?


Analysis conducted using data from CanOils’ wells and land database, CanOils Assets (see note 1), which has recently been expanded to include all well data from Manitoba, shows that of the 4079 wells that produced oil in July 2015, 4073 were producing from various pools in four formations, Bakken-Torquay, Lodgepole, Lower Amaranth and Mission Canyon. (Note, Evaluate Energy and CanOils are sister sites of the Daily Oil Bulletin.)


Source: CanOils Assets Click here for maps of producing wells in Manitoba by formation.

Most wells that produced oil in July 2015 were producing from the Bakken-Torquay formation. The formation is dominated by wells operated by Tundra Oil & Gas Partnership, a wholly-owned subsidiary of privately held James Richardson & Sons Ltd. (JSRL); Tundra operates over 84 per cent of July’s oil producing wells in the Bakken-Torquay formation.

The other main formations in Manitoba, the Lodgepole and Lower Amaranth, are not quite so dominated by Tundra/JSRL, although the company does operate a large number of wells in each. Another privately held company, Corex Resources Ltd., is extremely active in the Lodgepole formation as an operator, while publicly listed companies Canadian Natural Resources Limited., Crescent Point Energy Corp. (via wells acquired in its purchase of Legacy Oil + Gas Inc.) and EOG Resources Inc., are significant operators in the Lower Amaranth formation. CanOils Assets can be used to delve deeply into each of these operators’ production profiles down to an individual well-level basis, allowing the benchmarking of well performance and productivity by both location and operator.

Related – Government of Manitoba: Manitoba geologic column, showing productive intervals and documented oil and gas shows

When were Manitoba’s producing wells drilled?

Most of Manitoba’s currently producing wells were spud from 2005 and onwards; however, there are wells in the province that were spud in the 1950s and are still onstream.

Of the wells that are currently producing (see note 3) and were spud following the start of the century, the bulk of these are in the Bakken-Torquay formation. The youngest wells currently onstream in Manitoba are not so heavily weighted to Bakken-Torquay production, though, with many wells drilled in 2013 and 2014 now producing from the Lodgepole and Lower Amaranth formations as well. The main locations of each of the formations in Manitoba can be easily seen using the CanOils Assets webmap.


Source: CanOils Assets – see notes 1 & 2

Of interest, while the Lodgepole formation has been the target for an increasing number of younger wells producing in Manitoba, it is also where a significant number of older wells are producing. In fact, the oldest producing well in Manitoba produces from the Lodgepole formation and was originally spud in 1951. Click here for maps of all producing wells in Manitoba by formation.

Source: CanOils Assets – see notes 1 & 2


1) All data in this report is sourced from CanOils Assets. CanOils Assets has now been expanded to include Manitoba well data, to accompany well, land and working interest estimates for company production in Alberta, British Columbia and Saskatchewan. Well licensing and drilling activity is now also updated on a daily basis, with new production figures being provided once a month. Click here to find out more.

2) The charts here do not include wells that were drilled in each formation that are no longer producing. The chart is not therefore necessarily indicative of a movement towards the Lodgepole and Lower Amaranth formations away from the Bakken-Torquay. To see this trend, if it does exist, all wells, not just currently producing wells, would need to be considered.

3) The term “currently producing” here and throughout refers to a well that produced oil in the month of July 2015.

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