Technical Papers & Presentations

Petro-Lithium and Helium Resources of the Western Canada Sedimentary Basin

CSUR Technical Webinar

Download

To access this file, please sign-up for our mailing list.

Thank you! Your submission has been received!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.
Download Button

To access this file, please sign-up for our mailing list.

Thank you! Your submission has been received!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.
Abstract

The Western Canada Sedimentary Basin (WCSB) has been an oil and gas exploration and development area since the early 20th century and has generated and continues to generate immense wealth for all Canadians. Recently there has been a pivot to new types of subsurface resources, which include what are called critical or strategic minerals. Among these are lithium (from oilfield brines) and helium (found trapped within deep strata overlying Precambrian structural highs). Lithium demand is rising worldwide and is expected to increase significantly by 2030 from current levels. This is primarily because of increased demand for energy storage applications using rechargeable lithium-ion batteries. Concurrently, the imminent closure of the United States Federal Helium Reserve in Texas in late 2021 requires the identification of new and secure sources of helium, which is used in cryogenic applications for MRI scanners, during the manufacture of semiconductor chips and to purge and pressurize the propulsion systems of missiles and rockets. The pivot to lithium is driven by forecasted steadily-increasing demand, whereas the search for helium is driven by a risk of decreasing supply in the future. Western Canada is well positioned to become a secure source for both of these elements, not only because of its favorable geology, but because exploration for and development of both lithium and helium in the subsurface leverages the knowledge, expertise and infrastructure that currently exists for oil and gas in the WCSB.

More information