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Uplift and Erosion of the greater Barents Sea: Regional Trends and Implications for Petroleum Systems

Erik Henriksen1, Alf E. Ryseth2, Geir B. Larssen2, Antonina Stoupakova3, Tamara Kirjukhina4, Turid Heide2, Ketil Sollid2, Kristin Rønning2, Hans M. Bjørnseth2, Tor K. Hals2, and Oddbjørn S. Kløvjan2
1North Energy ASA, Alta, Norway.
2Statoil, Olso, Norway.
3Statoil Moscow, Moscow, Russian Federation.
4Moscow State University, Moscow, Russian Federation.

Evaluation of uplift and net-erosion of the greater Barents Sea shows that different areas have been subject to different magnitudes of erosion. Net-erosion is described as the difference between the present depth to a unit and the maximum burial of the same unit. In the Barents Sea the net-erosion varies from 0 to more than 3000m. Several methods such as vitrinite reflectance, shale compaction, growth of quarts cement and pyrolysis has been used to reduce the uncertainty of the net-erosion calculations.

For the Barents Sea the late Neogene uplift has particularly been subject for discussions due to the risk of petroleum leakage. In general, the processes related to uplift and net-erosion have important consequences for the petroleum systems. Development of reservoir quality, seal integrity, maturity of the source rocks and the migration of hydrocarbons are all affected by the processes. Due to changes in the PVT condition in a hydrocarbon-filled structure, uplift and erosion increases the risk of leakage and expansion of the gas cap in a structure. The timing of uplift and the understanding of re-migration of hydrocarbons has been increasingly important in the exploration of the Barents Sea, and may represent a key to future success.

Recent discoveries in the Barents Sea confirm the area as an important oil and gas province.


AAPG Search and Discovery Article #90130©2011 3P Arctic, The Polar Petroleum Potential Conference & Exhibition, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada, 30 August-2 September, 2011.