The Hopedale Basin, Offshore Labrador, Canada: Stranded Gas and Remaining Petroleum Potential
Michael E. Enachescu1, John R. Hogg2, and Stephen J. Kearsey1
1 Memorial University, St John's, NF
2 Burlington Resources Canada Ltd, Calgary, AB
Several large gas discoveries were made during the 1970's exploration cycle in the shallow Labrador Sea, proving the existence of a rich petroleum system. No follow-up drilling has taken place and only during the past few years exploration has returned with collection of modern 2D seismic data. We have performed an integrated regional interpretation using these data in the southern Labrador Sea's Hopedale Basin. The new regional grid contains better quality imaging than data collected 30-35 years ago and lines extend to deepwater. The basin is a large (175,000 sq km) Mesozoic rifted area that extends from the shelf to the lower slope. Its structural and tectonic subdivisions were deciphered by using the structure maps of the pre-rift basement, several Cretaceous and Tertiary unconformities, the Mesozoic isochron map and the potential field data. The Hopedale Basin had a complex geological evolution, starting with intra-continental rifting in the Late Jurassic (?) or Early Cretaceous, followed by several periods of rifting, the last being in the Early Tertiary. Several larger depocenters are recognized on the shelf and slope that may contain Mesozoic sequences including mature Cretaceous source rocks and possible Late Jurassic, Kimmeridgian-aged sediments. Large, previously unknown, structural and stratigraphic leads have been identified on the distal continental shelf and slope. Unexpectedly for an extensional margin, some of the imaged faulted anticlines show characteristics of inversion and compression that remains to be explained.