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Abstract

Petroleum resources of the Canadian Cordillera are mainly confined to the Foreland Belt where structural traps dominated by thrust faults and folds in Mesozoic and Paleozoic rocks form the main reservoirs. In the Insular Belt hydrocarbons have yet to be found, however, potential reservoirs are associated with rocks of mainly Tertiary age within structures which have arisen from interplate processes along an active continental margin. In the Foreland Belt established initial recoverable reserves of gas amount to 375 x 109 m3; two oil fields together contain an estimated recoverable reserve of 65 x 106 m3. In the Insular Belt estimates of potential recoverable reserves at an "average expectation" (34% level of probability) are: 265 x 109 m3 for gas and 38.5 x 106 m3 for oil.

Vast resources of bituminous and sub-bituminous coal and lignite occur in the Cordillera within strata of Jurassic, Cretaceous and Tertiary age. Upper Jurassic and Cretaceous coal deposits are part of regionally extensive clastic wedges that accumulated in the Foreland, Intermontane and Insular belts in response to tectonism, partly associated with accretion of suspect terranes. The most significant deposits and the only ones presently being mined are bituminous coals in the Foreland Belt. In the Intermontane Belt Jurassic and Lower Cretaceous(?) coal measures occur in the Whitehorse Trough, Bowser Basin and on the north flank of the Skeena Arch. The Whitehorse Trough and Groundhog coal measures of the Bowser Basin contain the only significant deposits of anthracite in the Cordillera. In the Insular Belt

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