Discover the Deepest Hole in Canada

© Andriy Blokhin/Shutterstock.com

Written by Erica Scassellati

Updated: October 27, 2023

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Humans have been drilling into the earth for many years in order to conduct research and obtain precious resources such as oil. Some of the deepest points on Earth are located in the dark depths of the ocean. While we have scarcely begun to explore the ocean depths, there’s plenty to learn about the deepest hole in Canada.

What Is the Deepest Hole in Canada?

Ensign Energy Services drilled the deepest hole in Canada in the Duvernay Basin near Fox Creek, Alberta, in 2022. The company celebrated this impressive feat with an Instagram post, stating that the well reaches a measured depth of 8,925 meters (29,281 feet). The project was completed in just 18.4 days.

This project was completed by Rig #770. The team broke their own previous record for the largest onshore well, which measured 8,570 meters (28,116 feet). At the time of their record-breaking project in 2022, Rig #770 also celebrated over five years of incident-free projects.

Other Notable Ensign Energy Projects

This isn’t the first time Ensign Energy Services has created a notable well near Fox Creek. In 2018 they drilled a hole with a measured depth of 7,770 meters (or 25,492 feet). According to Alaska Highway, the well project was completed in January 2018 and took less than fourteen days.

For this project, Ensign Energy Services teamed up with Shell Canada to drill thousands of feet below the earth’s surface using an Ensign ADR 1500S super spec rig. This well was the first drilled by this rig after the deployment of Ensign’s Edge Controls.

The forest surrounding Fox Creek, Alberta, Canada.

The forest surrounding Fox Creek, Alberta, is a serene spot.

©macaulays/Shutterstock.com

Where Is Fox Creek Located on a Map?

The town of Fox Creek lies in western Alberta. It is located on Highway 43 and is about 161 miles away from Edmonton, the capital of Alberta.

About Fox Creek

Oil and gas play an important role in Fox Creek’s economy. The town lies at the heart of the Duvernay Formation, which covers most of central Alberta. The Duvernay holds “an estimated 443 trillion cubic feet of gas and 61.7 billion barrels of oil,” according to Canada’s Energy Resources Conservation Board.

Still, Fox Creek isn’t only known for natural gas. The town is home to bountiful wilderness and opportunities to explore the surrounding forests, lakes, and wildlife. Fox Creek is in close proximity to Smoke Lake and Iosegun Lake, which each host their own campgrounds. The Simonette and Waskahigan Rivers also flow nearby.

Explore the Deepest Point in the Ocean

The ocean is a mysterious place and much of its contents are unknown to humans. In fact, over 80% of the ocean remains unexplored.

At its deepest depths, the ocean is pitch black and freezing cold. Crushing pressure only makes these places even more difficult to explore. Yet researchers have managed to gather some information on the ocean’s deepest points.

mariana trench

The deepest point in the ocean is located within the Mariana Trench.

©iStock.com/ratpack223

The Challenger Deep

The deepest part of the ocean is the Challenger Deep, located at the southern end of the Mariana Trench. The Challenger Deep is approximately 10,935 meters (35,876 feet) deep, according to NOAA. It takes its name from the HMS Challenger, whose crew were the first to measure the deep.

As of a 2019 article written by the U.S. Department of Defense, only three people have made it to the Challenger Deep. They include Navy Lt. Don Walsh and explorer Jacques Piccard, who became the first humans to enter the deepest point in the ocean in 1960.

Walsh recalled seeing a “foot-long flatfish, like a halibut or sole” that had “two eyes on one side.” Though the men didn’t stay in the Challenger Deep for long, their visit was an incredible feat and confirmed that living creatures can survive on its seafloor. Since this expedition, only one person has entered the Challenger Deep — filmmaker James Cameron!

Explore the Deepest Point on Earth

The deepest point on Earth is even deeper than the Challenger Deep in the Mariana Trench. The Kola Superdeep Borehole, located in Murmansk Oblast, Russia, reaches 40,230 feet (12,262 meters) below the earth’s surface.

Reaching this depth took almost 20 years. The project was abandoned when drillers encountered surprisingly high temperatures of 356 degrees Fahrenheit, wrote the Smithsonian Magazine. Heat at that level makes drilling more difficult and can ruin necessary equipment.

The goal of the Kola Superdeep Borehole was to reach the core of the Earth, but this project didn’t even come close. The Earth’s core lies around 6,400 to 5,180 kilometers (4,000 to 3,220 miles) beneath the surface. For now, it seems that the center of the Earth is quite unreachable to humans.


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About the Author

Erica is a writer at A-Z Animals where her primary focus is on history, food, and travel. Erica has over 3 years of experience as a content writer and holds a Bachelor of Arts in English from the University of Missouri-Kansas City, which she earned in 2018. A resident of Kansas City, Erica enjoys exploring her home town and traveling around the world to learn about different cultures and try new food.

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