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An overview of the petroleum geology of the Arctic

January 1, 2011

Nine main petroleum provinces containing recoverable resources totalling 61 Bbbl liquids+269 Bbbloe of gas are known in the Arctic. The three best known major provinces are: West Siberia–South Kara, Arctic Alaska and Timan–Pechora. They have been sourced principally from, respectively, Upper Jurassic, Triassic and Devonian marine source rocks and their hydrocarbons are reservoired principally in Cretaceous sandstones, Triassic sandstones and Palaeozoic carbonates. The remaining six provinces except for the Upper Cretaceous–Palaeogene petroleum system in the Mackenzie Delta have predominantly Mesozoic sources and Jurassic reservoirs. There are discoveries in 15% of the total area of sedimentary basins (c. 8×106 km2), dry wells in 10% of the area, seismic but no wells in 50% and no seismic in 25%. The United States Geological Survey estimate yet-to-find resources to total 90 Bbbl liquids+279 Bbbloe gas, with four regions – South Kara Sea, Alaska, East Barents Sea, East Greenland – dominating. Russian estimates of South Kara Sea and East Barents Sea are equally positive. The large potential reflects primarily the large undrilled areas, thick basins and widespread source rocks.

Publication Year 2011
Title An overview of the petroleum geology of the Arctic
DOI 10.1144/M35.1
Authors A.M. Spencer, A.F. Embry, Donald L. Gautier, A.V. Stoupakova, K. Sorensen
Publication Type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Series Title Geological Society Memoir
Index ID 70036329
Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse
USGS Organization Geology, Minerals, Energy, and Geophysics Science Center