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Assessment of Oils and Source Rocks from the Norwegian Barents Sea Region

Previous HitJonTop H. Pedersen and Dag A. Karlsen
University of Oslo, Oslo, Norway

The Barents Sea is an ocean area situated between the northern parts of Norway and Russia and south of the island of Svalbard. In geological terms, the Barents Sea area is a large, intracratonic platform, with several sedimentary basins. The sedimentary record includes Devonian to Neogene deposits of dominantly marine types.

The most important source rock in the Norwegian Barents Sea is the Upper Jurassic marine type II Hekkingen Formation. However, several other source rock candidates are believed to exist in the region, both in the Palaeozoic and Mesozoic successions. Palaeozoic source rock systems are known from the Russian Barents Sea, e.g. Devonian marine Domanik facies in the Timan Pechora area, and oil stains of Carboniferous age are known from onshore areas of Svalbard. Petroleum reservoir rocks in the Norwegian Barents Sea are found in Middle Jurassic and Lower Cretaceous strata.

Using established organic geochemical methods, we assess the thermal maturity and organic facies of oils, condensates and rock extracts from the offshore Norwegian Barents Sea and from the onshore island of Svalbard. This study shows some of the petroleum diversity we have observed on the Barents Sea shelf, and discusses the implications our findings might have for petroleum exploration in this promising region on the Norwegian Continental Shelf.

AAPG Search and Discovery Article #90039©2005 AAPG Calgary, Alberta, June 16-19, 2005