Manitoba Scallion – Will a 12-barrel-per-day oil discovery lead to the next big Williston Play?

Tucked away in the far northeast corner of the Williston Basin in Manitoba are the eroded subcrop edges of the Virden and Scallion Members of the Mississippian Lodgepole Formation. 

In the Souris area, Major Oil & Gas Ltd. has made a 12-barrel-per-day discovery at 4-31-6-21W1, in the Scallion zone. This is the most updip oil discovery ever made in this region, possibly even the whole basin.  Updip of this discovery are hundreds of square miles of undrilled territory. Talk about a red flag waving, with an invitation to oil explorers with the message that the oil is here – come and get it!

Manitoba already hosts a few vertical Scallion wells that have produced over a million barrels each in the Virden Field 40 miles away. The Scallion in the Souris area has characteristics that could lead to million barrel wells as well. Features such as 20 metres of 20 to 30 per cent rock, medium gravity oil, only 600 metres deep in an area with virtually no drilling make this enticing.  

Obviously, much more work needs to be done to unlock the potential of the Scallion. Major Oil & Gas Ltd. is preparing to shoot a high-quality 3D program, which could be the key for breaking open the Scallion in the area.

As if the Scallion isn’t enough, Major has 2D seismic data that shows the oil-prone Virden Member is preserved on top of the Scallion in the area. In the adjacent Souris-Hartney Field the Virden has produced over two million barrels. Previously, industry believed that Souris-Hartney was the most updip remnant of Virden porosity, but this new data suggests an extension or outlier about the same size as Souris-Hartney may be found a couple miles updip. 

The Virden and Scallion plays overlap so there is a chance to test two plays with one shallow vertical test. Major’s proposed 3D seismic is key to optimize the location to test both zones. If either zone comes in, it will lead to many years of development. This is especially true for the Scallion because nobody knows how far updip the oil has migrated.

In today’s competitive world, it is a rare opportunity to find an area that has so much potential that checks so many boxes. Shallow, conventional, medium gravity oil, friendly jurisdiction, minimal pipeline constraints, year-round access, unexplored updip area covering hundreds of square miles with no drilling, most land is open, leasable, freehold with no competition (for now). Parties interested in joining with Major to explore this area can contact Sayer Energy Advisors in Calgary at (403) 266-6133 for additional information.


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