AAPG Europe Regional Conference, Global Analogues of the Atlantic Margin

Datapages, Inc.Print this page

Basin and petroleum systems modelling in the northern Barents Sea


The northern Barents Sea borders the North Atlantic and was strongly influenced by the opening of the Atlantic. Especially the Cenozoic uplift and erosion had a decisive influence on the petroleum systems. The northern Norwegian Barents Sea covers an area of approximately the same size as the southern Norwegian Barents Sea, where numerous oil and gas reservoirs are found. The northern Barents Sea is exempt from commercial activities, therefore the amount of available data is limited, but the area is studied by academia and research institutes for a long time. Rift structures extend from the Atlantic margin into the Barents Sea and form Mesozoic Basins, e.g. Tromsø Basin, Hammerfest Basin. These rift structures continue towards the northeast into Paleozoic rift structures e.g. Nordkapp Basin. In the northern Barents Sea it is still an open question how these structures continue and where the Caledonian and Timanian basement provinces merge. Most basins follow this southwest-northeast trend, whereas others strike oblique to this direction. One such exception is the Olga Basin, with an east-west extent. The Olga Basin is situated ~250 km southeast of Svalbard in the northeastern Barents Sea and is so far informally classified by NPD as a shallow Cretaceous basin in platform area. It stretches from the Norwegian into the Russian Barents Sea. Below the Creataceous basin, an older basin of Paleozoic age is identified. We studied this basin and its basement with multi-channel reflection seismic data (MCS) and shallow sediment samples. Our MCS data and refraction seismic data from literature are the structural base for a basin and petroleum system model (BPSM). Results from bound gases of seafloor samples together with the BPSM model allow us to draw conclusions about the age of possible source rocks in the basin. Several Mesozoic as well as Paleozoic source rocks are known from Svalbard, Bear Island and the southern Barents Sea.