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The discovery of a major oil or gas field onshore in North America is a significant event to geologists. But, the discovery of a supergiant field in a “subtle trap” is so unique that it fulfills the fondest hopes of all explorationists and confirms their faith that the earth holds hidden treasures that cannot be known by statisticians or economists.It is also of major economic importance because of the quantity of hydrocarbons involved and the fact that it opens many minds to other similar accumulations.

Elmworth contains 17 tcf of proved plus probable gas and 1 billion barrels of natural gas liquids with a huge adjoining area which has been only lightly drilled. The field is already known to be the largest gas accumulation in Canada and ranks as one of the largest in North America. Its size and its puzzling trap characteristics make it a worthy subject for careful geologic study.

Ten years ago it would have seemed scientifically irresponsible to suggest that Canada had yet to see its largest gas field and that it would be found in a stratigraphic trap where gas lies downdip from water with no impermeable barrier between. Rational analysis of the future is always constrained by limited knowledge.

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