Airborne Survey Probes Ancient Seabed Near Chatham



    McGuinty Government Investigates Potential For Oil And Gas Production

    TORONTO, Jan. 8 /CNW/ -

    NEWS

    The province will take to the skies next month to determine the potential
for additional oil and gas production in southwestern Ontario.
    The Ontario government has commissioned an airborne geophysical survey to
collect magnetic data about the rocks buried in this region. The survey will
start in January and run for about two months.
    The survey may reveal a potential for additional oil and gas production
or gas storage in a structural depression -- known as the Chatham Sag -- that
was once the site of an ancient tropical sea. It will also help identify
buried rock that may be suitable for the storage of carbon dioxide gas, which
would aid climate change reduction efforts.

    QUOTES

    "Airborne geophysical surveys can be a powerful tool for economic
stimulus and growth," said Chatham-Kent-Essex MPP Pat Hoy. "Additional
potential for oil and gas production could bring new opportunities to our
region."

    "This airborne geophysical survey is a quick, cost-effective way to learn
more about this area's geology and its natural resource economic potential,"
said Northern Development and Mines Minister Michael Gravelle. "It will also
contribute to our understanding of the rock's capacity to help Ontario reduce
its carbon footprint by safely storing carbon dioxide."

    QUICK FACTS

    
    -  About 100 new oil and gas wells are drilled in southern Ontario each
       year. On average, 100 depleted wells are plugged every year.
    -  North America's oil industry began in the mid-1800s with the discovery
       of oil near the present town of Petrolia, Ontario. Large quantities of
       salt are also mined in the area.
    -  Geoscience organizations estimate that every dollar invested in a
       basic geological survey triggers five dollars in exploration spending
       by the private sector.
    

    LEARN MORE

    About oil, gas and salt resources
(http://www.mnr.gov.on.ca/en/Business/OGSR/2ColumnSubPage/STEL02_167104.html)
in Ontario.

    About Ontario's petroleum industry
(http://www.ontpet.com/about_the_industry.htm).

    View an online map          
(http://www.mndm.gov.on.ca/news/docs/Chatham-Survey-Location-Map_e.jpg) of the
area covered by the Chatham Sag airborne geophysical survey.

    
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    BACKGROUNDER
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                         AIRBORNE GEOPHYSICAL SURVEYS
    

    Airborne geophysical surveys help us better understand the geology of an
area by collecting information from the air without disturbing the ground
surface below. They are flown at low altitude using either specially modified
fixed-wing aircraft or helicopters.
    Surveys are flown systematically along parallel flight lines, which are
typically between 100 metres and one kilometre apart. The aircraft will fly
down one line, turn at the end of the line, and fly back up the next line.
    There are several types of airborne geophysical surveys which measure
different physical properties of rocks, such as magnetism, gravity and
electrical conductivity.
    Information is collected by instruments that are either mounted on the
aircraft or towed below it. Data is recorded by computers onboard the
aircraft. The data will later be processed to create maps and images that are
used to interpret the geology of the surveyed area.
    Airborne geophysics is a core function of the Ontario Geological Survey
(OGS) program. It provides basic infrastructure used by the mineral industry
to select areas in which to explore. The OGS has completed several successful
airborne geophysical surveys, including during the recently completed Far
North Mapping initiative.

    
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                                                       ontario.ca/mines-news
                                                      Disponible en français
    





For further information:

For further information: Anne-Marie Flanagan, MNDM Minister's Office,
(416) 327-0655; Jack Parker, Ontario Geological Survey, (705) 670-5976

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Ontario Ministry of Northern Development, Mines and Forestry

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