Microbial Genomics for De-Risking Offshore Oil and Gas Exploration in Nova Scotia

Woman on boat

The purpose of this $6.5M project is to develop, validate and deploy different genomics-based bioassay tools for offshore prospecting on the Scotian Slope. The bioassays will be based on principles of microbial oceanography and ecology and focus on bacteria that actively metabolise hydrocarbons in the seabed, and dormant bacteria (endospores of thermophiles) expelled from subsurface oil reservoirs via hydrocarbon seepage. Genomics results will be integrated with conventional geoscience information to map petroleum potential.


Principal Investigators: Dr. G. Todd Ventura, Saint Mary’s University; Dr. Casey R. J. Hubert, University of Calgary; Mr. Adam MacDonald, Nova Scotia Department of Energy; Dr. Martin Fowler, Applied Petroleum Technology Canada Ltd.

April 2016 – March 2021