--> --> Abstract: U.S. Geological Survey Circum-Arctic Resource Appraisal: Estimates of Undiscovered Oil and Gas in the Highest Northern Latitudes, by Brenda Pierce and The Circum-Arctic Resource Appraisal Team; #90082 (2008)

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U.S. Geological Survey Circum-Arctic Resource Appraisal: Estimates of Undiscovered Oil and Gas in the Highest Northern Latitudes

Brenda Pierce and The Circum-Arctic Resource Appraisal Team
Energy Resources Program, U.S. Geological Survey, Reston, VA

The United States Geological Survey (USGS) has completed its first comprehensive assessment of undiscovered oil and gas resources north of the Arctic Circle. The study, the Circum-Arctic Resource Appraisal (CARA), is geologically based and includes all volumes of sedimentary rock in the Arctic. The area north of the Arctic Circle (~66.56° north latitude) consists of more than 21,000,000 km2 or about six percent of the Earth’s surface. A few onshore Arctic areas, such as Alaska’s North Slope and Russia’s West Siberian and Timan-Pechora basins, are important petroleum provinces, containing more than 15 percent of the world’s discovered petroleum resources. However, almost one-third of the Arctic consists of shallow continental shelves, many of which may have significant petroleum potential, but remain largely untested.

The difficult access, sparse data, and extreme geological uncertainty of the Arctic make many of the usual tools of resource appraisal - such as prospect counting, discovery history analysis, and deposit simulation modeling - unusable in most areas of the Arctic. In order to conduct a scientifically robust, comprehensive assessment, the USGS, in collaboration with a number of international institutions and individuals, has compiled a new map of Arctic sedimentary provinces and assessed the resource potential of each province using a combination of geological evaluation and analog analysis. The results of the assessment are probabilistic and fully risked estimates of potential additions to conventional reserves of oil, gas, and natural gas liquids in all areas of the Arctic. This will be the first publicly available comprehensive evaluation of the petroleum resources of the Arctic. Detailed results will be presented at the AAPG International Conference and Exhibition in Cape Town.

AAPG International Conference and Exhibition, Cape Town, South Africa 2008 © AAPG Search and Discovery