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The Influence of Hinterland Evolution on the Petroleum Systems of the East Greenland Basin

Andrew Quallington, Daniel Campanile, Kathelijne Bonne, Laura Hagen, Lauren Raynham, and Paul Markwick
Getech, Leeds, United Kingdom.

The offshore NE Greenland margin is an area of increasing exploration interest, but sparse data. This is particularly true in the northern part of the East Greenland Basin, where information on the subsurface comes from limited seismic surveys, dredge samples and shallow cores. Any independent information on tectonics, basin evolution and sediment composition and flux, is therefore extremely important. This is the focus of this study.

In the south, the NE Greenland margin comprises a broad shelf area, which developed as a passive margin during the Cenozoic. In the north the shelf narrows into a transform margin with Svalbard, which formed during the Oligocene and connected the ocean spreading centres in the Eurasia Basin (Arctic), and the Norwegian-Greenland Sea to the south. These Cenozoic geometries are superimposed on older (Mesozoic) rifting phases.

Well documented source rocks include the Permo-Triassic Ravnefjeld Formation, the Late Triassic - Early Jurassic Kap Stewart Formation, and Kimmeridgian Hareelv Formation, which may or may not be part of a extensive source facies depositional episode linking the Kimmeridge Clay in the North Sea and Wessex Basin with the Bazhenov Formation of the West Siberian Basin, though such a generic origin seems over-simplistic.

The exact depositional facies and distribution of reservoir systems is more uncertain with potential reservoirs dating back to the Carboniferous.

In this study we examine the role of hinterland evolution on source and reservoir facies along this margin. We have carried out a detailed drainage analysis of the sub-ice topography using both airy isostatic and flexural isostatic reconstructions to extract ice-loading effects. Plume effects (as a combination of long wavelength mantle anomalies and short wavelength volcanic centres) have also been examined. These analysis have been used to help reconstruct the palaeogeographic and landscape evolution of the Greenland hinterland through the Cenozoic and Mesozoic and how this may have affected drainage evolution, sediment supply and ultimately the prospectivity of the East Greenland Basin.

 

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

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