Regional Geological Context of Arctic Frontier Basins
BP Exploration, Middlesex, United Kingdom.
The extensive continental shelves of the Arctic Ocean are underlain by numerous sedimentary basins. Knowledge of individual basins is frequently poor, due to the relatively limited amount of exploration drilling. A large proportion of the Arctic shelfal area is completely unexplored.
Only over the past 2 to 3 decades has exploration started to move into the Norwegian Barents Sea, the Russian Barents - Pechora - South Kara Seas, and the Chukchi - Beaufort Seas of North America. This offshore activity has proceeded alongside geographically focused exploration of the Arctic onshore in areas such as the Timan-Pechora and West Siberian basins of Russia, the North Slope of Alaska and onshore Arctic Canada. In excess of 150 billion barrels oil equivalent has been discovered to date in the onshore and offshore area north of the Arctic Circle.
Integrated regional geological analysis and interpretation is key to advancing understanding of the model-range for basin evolution, fill and deformation over much of the Arctic. Clarification of the progressive evolution and distribution of Phanerozoic orogenic and basin-forming episodes, alongside pulsed magmatic activity and regional uplifts, is an ultimate objective which will help to constrain regional models for source and reservoir rock depositional extent. Regional geological linkage from selected onshore areas to their adjacent offshore shelves and deeper water basins will be described, in the context of Arctic Phaneroic evolution.
AAPG Search and Discover Article #90096©2009 AAPG 3-P Arctic Conference and Exhibition, Moscow, Russia