Belly River Stacked Sands


The primary target at Brazeau is the Upper Cretaceous Belly River, a sinuous, channelized sandstone. The Belly River was deposited in numerous intervals in varying forms including river channels, deltas, beaches, shore faces and marine deposits. The entire Belly River column is well over 300 metres thick, ranging from 1,550 metres to 1,900 metres depth.


2013 SPROULE RESOURCE STUDY* Discovered Oil in Place (mbbls) Un-Discovered Oil in Place (mbbls)
UBR C Mid 295,197 71,865
UBR C Lower 1,738 56,829
UBR D 129,688 81,268
UBR F 139,980 61,428
UBR G Upper 7,136 51,442
UBR G Mid 40,891 33,129
BBR A 73,161 39,425
BBR B 13,921 61,445
BBR C 167,796 6,003
BBR Marine 10,471 5,058
Total 879,979 467,892


The Belly River is part of the Alberta Deep Basin, which provides a number of important advantages, including:

  • Very little producible water;
  • Large depositional area, in some cases covering 70 sections of land area;
  • Large resource-in-place per section of land area;
  • Relatively consistent rock quality over large areas (with some variability and “sweet spots”), creating repeatability. Once a development model has been tested and established, numerous similar wells can be drilled and average per-well performance can be increased. This provides resource play characteristics.

The Belly River at Brazeau is largely oil-bearing, with wells typically producing 75-80 percent 42-44° API light oil plus 20-25 percent solution gas containing natural gas liquids of 65 bbls per mmcf of raw gas.

Boulder has mapped a total of 10 Belly River separate zones and sub-zones, in effect creating multiple plays on the same land area. The zones range from variable sands to the virtually ubiquitous C and D zones that have been mapped over 70+ sections. The C and D zones hold the greatest resource-in-place, making them rich targets for horizontal development.


The sands vary from 3-18 percent porosity and from 0.1-100 millidarcies permeability. Certain zones, or portions thereof, offer conventional permeability and were amenable to vertical drilling, particularly the Basal zone. This created an extensive database of well logs intersecting the other zones.

The historical conventional drilling into the Basal zone generated a large database of vertical well control, assisting in mapping and planning the recent unconventional development.


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