Piston Coring Geochemistry Program

Research vessel with piston coring rig.

Confirming the presence of hydrocarbons from an oil-prone Jurassic age source rock would encourage exploration in the deep water portion of Nova Scotia’s offshore. This program involves using a survey vessel to collect samples, followed by laboratory analyses, data interpretation, integration and reporting. A geochemical approach is applied in order to determine if hydrocarbons beneath the deep water Scotian Shelf have a Jurassic age source rock. To date, piston core sampling cruises have been undertaken in 2017 and 2018; two oil seeps have been sampled and assessed. The program continues in 2019 using an AUV to map additional seeps and in 2020 using ROPOS to collect additional samples.


Principal Investigator: Dr. Martin Fowler, Applied Petroleum Technology Canada Ltd.

January 2015 – January 2020
  • Fowler, M., Webb, J., Hubert, C., Li, C. and Macdonald, A. (2018) Implications for Petroleum Systems in the Deep Water Scotian Slope, Offshore Nova Scotia based on Geochemical and Microbiological Analyses of Piston Core Samples. Geoconvention 2018, Calgary May 2018.
  • Fowler, M. and Webb, J. (2018) Summary of Geochemical Investigations on Offshore Nova Scotia DoE 2015-2017 Piston Coring Samples. Microbial Genomics for De-Risking Offshore Oil and Gas Exploration in Nova Scotia Workshop. Calgary, January, 2018.
  • Li., C., Stacey, D., Chakraborty, A., Bernard, B., Brooks, J., MacDonald, A., Webb, J., Fowler, M. and Hubert, C. (2017) Cultivation independent microbial genomics for de-risking offshore deep water oil and gas exploration. ISMOS-6, San Diego June 2017.
  • Hubert, C.R., Li, C., Stacey, D.K., Adebayo, O., Chakrabarty, Ellefson, E., Bernard, B., Brooks, J., Macdonald, A., Webb, J. and Fowler, M.G. (2017) Incorporating microbial anomalies into seabed geochemical prospecting in different deep-water settings. Gussow Conference, Banff, October, 2017.
  • Hubert, C., Li, C., Chakraboty, A., Stacey, D., Gittins, D., Bernard, B., Brooks, J., Macdonald, A. Webb, J. and Fowler, M. (2018) Microbiological Approaches for de-risking offshore deep water oil and gas exploration. Geoconvention, Calgary May, 2018.