Permafrost Problems in Oil Development

CIM Bulletin, 1952


0 IL EXPLORATION in Western Canada has produced outstanding results in the past few years. From such successes as Leduc and Redwater on t-he :western plains, oilmen are now moving north in the ever-widening search for oil. :They are reaching new frontiers and meeting new problems presented by this vast hinterland. One of the least known but most troublesome phenomena which will be encountered is permafrost. This term relates to a thickness of soil or other superficial deposit, or even of bed-rock at variable depths beneath the surface, in which a temperature below freezing has continually existed .for a long time. This permanently frozen ground affects, in many ways, oil exploration and exploitation. Seismic records are changed, pipe lines cannot easily be ditched into the ground, formation of wax is speeded-up in tubing and pipe lines, roads are difficult to build, and foundation s of buildings and even of drilling rigs may require entirely new methods of construction.
Keywords: Construction, Drilling, Foundations, Freezing, frost line, moss, muskeg, Northern Alberta, permafrost, North, Oil, Oils, Permafrost, Temperature, Wells