Where is Iconland and What Makes it Special?
ICONLAND is located in the Athabasca Plain in north-eastern Alberta, Canada. This is the predominant oil sands fairway in Canada, and contains crude heavy oil equivalent to all the world’s conventional oil combined. Over the past two years, ICONLAND has acquired ~40 parcels within the Fairway. These parcels fit together like jigsaw puzzles, creating a number of large clusters that total ~70,000 Ha. ICONLAND is special because these clusters of land represent probably the best 5% of basement rights throughout the Fairway. Basement rights include almost all of the resources that can be extracted from the Precambrian granite basement including: geo-thermal energy, helium gas, hydrocarbons and rare minerals. The basement underlies the large oil sands deposits at a shallow depth (~700m). ICONLAND is now in a position to explore this basement land. Evidence exists to support an economic argument for a full scope of resource recovery.
Who First Recognized the Opportunity?
The potential for recovering resources from the granitic basement was first recognized over 100 years ago, by Count Alfred von Hammerstein. The Count drilled several wells in 1903-06, discovering natural gas and oil for the first time in the Athabasca fairway. He theorized that the source of the bitumen must be a pool of “free oil” lying beneath the sand formation. Unfortunately his rigs tended to burn down, and eventually focus changed to the obvious surface deposits of bitumen. In 1994 an experienced geologist, Warren Hunt, proposed again to explore the basement for hydrocarbons. He was influenced by American and Russian scientists who have argued that hydrocarbons are continuously produced in the deep earth, as a consequence of hydrogen combining with carbon in an oxygen-free environment. From this unorthodox perspective, most fossil fuels are not derived from fossils, but rather a by-product of hydrogen off-gassing, in combination with deep earth biology. Hunt assumed that giant eruptions – or gastroblemes – brought hydrosilicons in contact with oxygen, and produced hydrogen and sand. The massive sand deposits in Alberta thus become a repository for ‘Deep Biogenic Oil’ (DB Oil) rather than a source of fossil fuels. Hunt’s Discovery Well near Fort McMurray was deemed ‘unsuccessful’, although results were generally positive. There is evidence that high-grade oil flowed into the mud tanks from specific fracture zones near the surface. Concentrations of Helium gas were measured at 12% – suggesting a very economic opportunity. Unfortunately for Hunt, the good news was suppressed due to a business dispute. Also as the well deepened, the drilling mud plugged the fractures. In 2015 IconOil reanalyzed core samples from the Hunt Well and found conclusive evidence of hydrocarbons in the granite, along with potentially valuable secondary products. A decision was made to thoroughly explore the granite for multiple products, including reserves of light oil and gas. Fractured granite oil fields exist on all continents and are often highly productive. Although nothing yet exists in Canada, the possible abundance of resources in porous granite could provide a new lease on life for existing infrastructure in the north, and for Alberta’s economy as a whole. In 2015 IconOil reanalyzed core samples from the Hunt Well and found conclusive evidence of hydrocarbons in the granite, along with potentially valuable secondary products. A decision was made to thoroughly explore the granite for multiple products, and perhaps find new uses for existing infrastructure, and a new lease on life for Alberta’s economy.
Warren Hunt with IconLand colleague Mike Hollinshead
Gas Analysis from Discovery
Well showing Helium at 4%
What Assets and Knowledge have been acquired to date?
The original Hunt Well and surface lease have been acquired, including all surrounding Sections of land. In addition another 70,000 Ha have been acquired from the crown on a 4-year license.
The additional ICONLAND parcels were carefully selected using a combination of economic and scientific criteria. Magnetic maps helped to define faults and fracture zones, and the circular features that are often associated with gastroblemes. Seismic data was used to identify the basement ‘highs’, which are easier to access and more likely to trap liquids and gases. Surface drainage helped to define intersecting
faults. Infrastructure was used to define local markets and lowest-cost delivery options.
A well drilling program is completed and budgeted (with discounts to reflect market conditions). Seismic data has been analyzed for deep fractures, and the first well bore is planned. Surface lease and access have been defined and applications are prepared. Consultation is underway with the First Nations, and a well permit should be soon approved by government. The remaining clusters of land are prioritized and sequenced.
What are the next steps?
- Plan a Geophysical Observatory (GO), located close to the original Discovery Well, and designed to intersect as many fracture zones and fault lines as possible, to an extreme depth.
- Test for helium, oil, natural gas, and other resources.
- Step out from the GO, drilling drill new wells throughout the land cluster, to prove the reserve size and secure rights long-term.
- Acquire more land as appropriate.
- Drill Geophysical Observatories in the remaining ICONLAND priority clusters.
- Step out from each GO, where evidence warrants, to secure long-term rights to deep resources.
Several of the interpreted faults are shown in red on the image above. The well (roughly indicated by the yellow line) proposes to intersect an area of significant basement faulting (red lines). As the deeper segment crosses through the faults, each fracture zone will be tested for hydrocarbons and rare gases.
How profitable is the Iconland forecast?
We assume that shallow wells include, on average, ten fracture zones, each 50 meters deep, with porosity of 4.5% (similar to the Hunt Well). Deeper wells (2000m to 6000m) include similar fracture zones, possibly with even lighter hydrocarbons, more helium and secondary products. Maximum resource capacity for shallow wells on IconOil lands is 2.8 billion barrels of oil equivalent (BBOE), and an unknown quantity of helium.
If deeper fractures also contain hydrocarbons, the estimated PNG resources increases by 3 times, to 8.4 BBOE. Even if ICONLAND produces only 10% of this estimate, total resources will amount to 840 million barrels (bbls). Net delivery costs are approximately $10 per barrel.
At a conservative price of $30 per barrel, oil resources are worth $30 x 840 Mbbls = approximately $25.2 Billion.
The helium stream may increase this worth by orders of magnitude.
The acquisition of more land, informed by drilling results, may also increase ICONLAND enterprise value by orders of magnitude.
Who's managing Iconland?
The ICONLAND investment and development strategy is overseen by the IconOil Group’s cross-cutting Executive Team (ICONTEAM).
Day-to-day executive matters are handled by the senior executive officers:
Sebastian Moffatt, CEO
Grant Strem, Managing Director
Where to learn more about ICONLAND?
The ICONLAND Story provides comprehensive, up-to-date technical information on ICONLAND, including:
- Interpreted seismic and aeromagnetic data on the Athabasca Fairway
- Background on fractured granite plays worldwide and the history of Canadian ‘rock oil’
- Oil analysis from the Precambrian in the Discovery Well, showing same fingerprint as oil in sands above basement
- Hydrocarbon log from the Discovery Well showing gas liquids at lower depths
- Press releases and commentary on the Hunt Discovery Well (7-32), including interviews with Warren Hunt (founder); the on-site geologist, and the petro-physicist
- Helium concentrations in the Discovery Well
- Analysis of surrounding infrastructure, including detailed maps of road access throughout the Fairway
- Layout of top five priority clusters for ICONLAND, including targeted well sites
Contact Morgan Brooks at IconOil Group to discuss your interest, and to obtain access to The ICONLAND Story (403) 619-8757