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Home  >  Studies  >  Eastern Canada  >  Eastern Canada Biostratigraphic Database: Orphan Basin

Eastern Canada Biostratigraphic Database: Orphan Basin

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Study details a glance

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& Facies

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Key points

  • The Orphan Basin is greatly under-explored, with little subsurface data. Renewed exploration of the area in 2017 promoted this study to maximize the information gleaned from limited well penetrations, with nannopalaeontology an under-utilised stratigraphic tool.
  • Technically compatible with our Flemish Pass Basin multiclient study.
  • New biostratigraphic analyses (micropalaeontology, nannopalaeontology & palynology) run on >2,000 samples to verify, test, and improve stratigraphic and palaeoenvironmental interpretations in legacy datasets, with samples kindly provided by the C-NLOPB.


The Orphan Basin is greatly under-explored, with little subsurface data beyond seismic. In November 2016 four new exploration licenses were awarded in the western Orphan Basin. In February 2017 the CNLOPB announced a new exploration sector in the southern Orphan Basin (the pink sector in the map above). Following these recent commitments there is a need to maximize the information gleaned from limited well penetrations. There remains great scope for improved understanding of the Newfoundland margin. Biostratigraphy works extremely well in this area, but its interpretative value has not been maximized. A thorough stratigraphic review that utilizes all biostratigraphic disciplines is overdue. A review of palaeoenvironments is also warranted, with particular scope for improved understanding in the Jurassic. PetroStrat is carrying out a multi-client (or non-exclusive) study in Eastern Newfoundland. We aim to produce a consistent and up-to-date sequence chronostratigraphic framework for the entire Grand Banks area. Our study on the Orphan Basin comprises part of a larger supra-regional study covering the entire Grand Banks area.


PetroStrat have unrivalled experience in the Orphan Basin following involvement in the 2010-2013 exploration campaign (the Lona O-55 and Margaree A-49 wells). Comparison of our data with released biostratigraphy data showed great potential for improved understanding of other wells. Our non-exclusive study will involve a complete update of the stratigraphy, based on a combination of new data and review of released well data. Released biostratigraphic data available from the C-NLOPB is incomplete, and interpretations vary greatly among different contractors (see an example below from the Flemish Pass). In addition, the importance of nannopalaeontology has been played down in this area, with some contractors making do without this key discipline. Therefore, in our experience, released interpretations are often inaccurate or even misleading. There is a strong case for rationalization, and production of a consistent and up-to-date stratigraphic framework, based on full integration of all biostratigraphic disciplines, and calibrated to the latest standard Global Timescale (GTS 2016).


Orphan Basin Study Overview Map

This study commenced with a compilation of released biostratigraphy data and a review of released biostratigraphy slides, conducting re-analysis where necessary. Following “gap analysis” we will access samples from the C-NLOPB and run >2,000 new analyses (micropalaeontology, nannopalaeontology & palynology, as required) to verify, test, and improve interpretations. We are aiming to include 10 wells and extend the focus from the Jurassic-Cretaceous into the Cenozoic, in line with new play concepts for the Orphan Basin. Another objective of this project will be characterizing environments of deposition, via detailed integration of quantitative biodata.


  • Summary logs and correlation panels will incorporate chronostratigraphy, biozones, bioevents,and candidate sequence stratigraphic surfaces (identified via integration of biostratigraphic and log criteria), all calibrated to GTS 2016. Summary logs will also display significant previous (released) age interpretations for comparison.
  • Accompanying report text will discuss degrees of interpretational certainty/uncertainty, explain major revisions relative to earlier interpretations, and outline the palaeoenvironmental history of each well location.
  • All new data will be presented graphically and available digitally as .csv files, StrataBugs .sbg/.dex files, and as an ODM report.


The benefits of licensing this study will be:

  • Increased confidence in regional correlations. Reliable data will enable confident calibration of seismic, following identification of sequence boundaries based on integration of biostratigraphic and log criteria, and quantification of the magnitude of unconformities.
  • Greater understanding of the sediment supply, basin fill, and depositional setting in terms of the evolution of palaeoenvironments, which will influence source/seal/reservoir distribution.
  • Focus extended from the Jurassic-Cretaceous into the Cenozoic, in line with new play concepts in the Orphan Basin.
  • Fully compatible with PetroStrat’s Flemish Basin non-exclusive study, and forthcoming studies in Southern Newfoundland.
  • Exceptional value for money, when compared with proprietary rates.
  • There will be an optional Phase 2 study in collaboration with Chemostrat, which will involve full integration of biostratigraphy and chemostratigraphy
Petrostrat Flemish Pass Non Exclusive Stratigraphy Study Interval Example Data

Interested in learning more about this study?

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We hope this page has given you a good overview of our study. If you have any further questions, or if you would like to discuss how this study could be tailored to your specific needs, please do not hesitate to contact us.

We look forward to hearing from you!

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