Northeast Greenland — A Frontier Area for Petroleum Exploration
Jørgen A. Bojesen-Koefoed, Peter Alsen, Flemming G. Christiansen, Finn Dalhoff, Henrik Nøhr-Hansen, and Stefan Piasecki
Geological Survey of Denmark and Greenland (GEUS), Copenhagen, Denmark
The rifted margin basins of Northeast Greenland, with their Upper Palaeozoic-Mesozoic sedimentary successions, have long been recognised as important outcrop analogs to understand the stratigraphy and hydrocarbon potential of basins on the conjugate North Atlantic margin. However, dedicated exploration in the region itself has hitherto only been minor.
Onshore East and Northeast Greenland, numerous organic-rich sedimentary successions with ages from the Middle Devonian through the Jurassic show petroleum source potential. Regionally distributed source rocks include rich marine Permian shales and Kimmeridgian mudstones equivalent to the Kimmeridge Clay Formation sensu lato in NW-Europe. The presence of Cretaceous age source rocks remains to be demonstrated. The Devonian-Cretaceous succession has a composite thickness of more than 10 km, and in the Jameson Land basin probably more than 15 km. Potential reservoirs and regional seals are present in several intervals throughout the sedimentary succession.
This understanding of stratigraphy and depositional models is very important for establishing play elements in the neighbouring offshore basins where seismic coverage is sparse and well information non-existing. These models have importance for the ongoing assessment of the resources of the region that suggest a very significant potential.
Despite challenges provided by environmental concerns and a hostile climate, the geology of the Northeast Greenland shelf shows large potential for petroleum exploration. GEUS has launched a major field campaign that will continue over the coming years to update and improve the insight into the petroleum geology of Northeast Greenland, and to provide a sound basis for a possible future exploration. This presentation summarises the current understanding of some of the key play elements of the region and presents a view for the future.
AAPG International Conference and Exhibition, Cape Town, South Africa 2008 © AAPG Search and Discovery