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Russian Western Arctic Petroleum Basins. Structural Evaluation and Petroleum Systems

Antonina Stoupakova1, Tamara Kiryukhina2, Grigoriy Ulyanov2, Anna Suslova2, Daria Norina2, Nadezhda Kiryukhina2, Ivan Kurasov2, Roman Sautkin2, and Sergey Bordunov2
1Statoil, Moscow, Russian Federation.
2Petroleum geology and geochemistry, Lomonosov Moscow State University, Moscow, Russian Federation.

The Russian Western Arctic basins contain huge amount of hydrocarbon resources. 20 oil and gas fields were discovered in the Barents-Kara shelf including the Pechora Sea. Gas and condensate fields were discovered among which are: the giant Shtokman field in the Barents Sea, the Rusanovskoye and Leningradskoye fields in the Kara Sea. Oil and gas-condensate fields were discovered in the Pechora Sea. Oil and gas Palaeozoic province can be discovered on the flanks of the Yenisei-Khatanga basin. All Russian Western Arctic Basins have an intracratonic setting and were affected by several phases of rift phases during Riphean, Early Palaeozoic, Devonian-Early Carboniferous, Early Triassic, Jurassic and Cenozoic times. Often these stages were simultaneous at remote areas. Subsequent intracratonic rifting caused to develop of vast extensional basins, where considerable thicknesses of sedimentary complexes are associated with linear - extended rift systems - trends favorable for hydrocarbons generation. The structure of the Arctic Eurasian basins suggests that petroleum systems of Palaeozoic, Mesozoic and Cenozoic age may be present. Palaeozoic petroleum systems are studied in the northern part of the Timan-Pechora and Yenisei-Khatanga basins. On the Barents-Kara shelf Palaeozoic petroleum systems are forecast, but no related hydrocarbon accumulations have been discovered, although the Palaeozoic section contains source rocks able to generate hydrocarbons. Mesozoic petroleum systems are studied in the Barents Sea and the Yamal Peninsula. They relate to Lower, Middle and Upper Triassic gas and oil source rocks, Middle Jurassic oil and gas source rocks and very rich Upper Jurassic oil source rocks.

Hydrocarbon generation started long before the present basins’ structural configuration formed, and oil and gas kitchens were associated mainly with extensional parts of the basins. Later phases of rifting and extension affected both the ancient oil and gas kitchens and the younger ones. Inversion caused trapping and affected fluid migration, mixing the petroleum systems. Inverted structures in the old rifts have the highest potential for large hydrocarbons accumulations but, in highly uplifted areas affected by faulting and erosion, exploration risk is high. Forecasting hydrocarbon distribution needs profound understanding of the geological evolution of petroleum basins, their structural units and petroleum systems, which control the location of giant fields.


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