Crustal and Petroleum Framework of the BeaufortMackenzie Basin as Interpreted from Long-Offset Arcticspan(TM) 2-D Seismic Data
Menno G. Dinkelman1, Naresh Kumar2, James Helwig2, Peter A. Emmet2, and James W. Granath2
1BasinSPAN Programs, ION Solutions-GX Technology, Houston, TX
2Consultant, ION Solutions-GX Technology, Houston, TX
In three decades of exploration in the BeaufortMackenzie Basin (Arctic Canada), 48 oil and gas discoveries have not resulted in significant production, but the USGS* estimates mean undiscovered resources in the basin in shallow water at 14.5 BB of liquids (2.3 BCM) and 86.6 TCF of gas (2.32 TCM).
To address major questions regarding the basin architecture and petroleum systems, especially in deep water, ION Geophysical (GX Technology) acquired 3,534 km of 2-D long-offset seismic data in late 2006. The program was designed to image down to the base of the crust with a 9-km long cable, 18-second recording, and final depth processing (PSDM) to 40 km. We have interpreted the new data to regionally map the ocean-continent boundary and the top of MOHO discontinuity as well as to identify the major stratigraphic sequences formed since the opening of the Canada Basin. Building on this success, in 2007 a second phase of 5,561 kms of data extended the survey north along Banks Island with the same parameters.
Highlights of interpretation include 1) offshore Mackenzie Delta system is underlain by almost 15 km of sediments, 2) complex structure includes compressive folding, wrenching, extension, inversion and gravity-induced loading, essentially all operating approximately at the same time within various segments of this region, 3) the ocean/continent boundary is mapped in the area; and 4) besides “normal” oceanic and continental crusts, an area underlain by “anomalous” crust is mapped beneath the thickest sedimentary section in the basin.
[*USGS Mackenzie Delta Province Assessment Team, 2006, Assessment of undiscovered oil and gas resources of the Mackenzie Delta province, North America, 2004, World Energy Assessment Project Fact Sheet, 2p. Available online at: http://pubs.usgs.gov/fs/2006/3002/pdf/FS-2006-3002.pdf].
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