Province Tempts Offshore Explorers with New Digital Data

The potential of Nova Scotia's offshore geology has never been clearer.

For the first time, 3-D digital seismic data taken from the Sable Island area is available over the Internet, for free.

Originally taken in 1991, the data has been reprocessed to show a clearer picture of the subsurface geology in a section of a bank that lies roughly 200 kilometres offshore.

"Nova Scotia has 40 trillion cubic feet of offshore natural gas potential," said Energy Minister Richard Hurlburt. "This data makes that potential even clearer, and we're sharing it with investors and explorers around the world."

Industry and research communities will benefit from access to the reprocessed, government-owned data.

"This 3-D digital seismic dataset will further assist in increasing exploration activity in this highly prospective basin," said Greg Noval, chairman of Canadian Superior Energy Inc., Nova Scotia's largest offshore landholder.

Andrew MacRae, assistant professor of geology at Saint Mary's University said, "The digital data allows us to apply the full suite of modern seismic visualization techniques. Best of all, because the data is public, we can share the results openly with everyone."

"Our goal is to put new geological ideas in front of both current and potential explorers," said Mr. Hurlburt. "This new dataset will not only help us understand our geology, it will build a case for further offshore exploration in the Sable area."

The Offshore Energy Technical Research Association carried out the work with a $256,000 grant from the province using Calgary-based Kelman Technologies Inc. The project also includes reprocessing 2-D seismic data, expected in May.