Petroleum Assessment of Danmarkshavn Basin, Northeast Greenland: Protocol for the United States Geological Survey Circum-Arctic Resource Appraisal
Donald L. Gautier1 and Loring P. White2
1 U. S. Geological Survey, Menlo Park, CA
2 United States Geological Survey, Houston, TX
Danmarkshavn Basin, Northeast Greenland, has been selected as the prototype for the United States Geological Survey's Circum-Arctic Resource Appraisal (CARA). As such, the basin is being used as the site for development, testing and proof-of-concept for new assessment tools and methodologies necessary for a comprehensive and full-cycle evaluation of Arctic petroleum potential. Danmarkshavn exemplifies many intriguing aspects of oil and gas resources in the Arctic; the basin probably contains world-class, oil-prone source rocks of Late Jurassic age that have been buried to the oil window. Numerous reservoir and trapping possibilities can be demonstrated, with fault-block/unconformity traps, inversion anticlines and salt structures being some obvious targets. The greatest geologic uncertainty for petroleum in Danmarkshavn surrounds the prediction of gas versus oil (GOR) in undiscovered accumulations. The greatest technical uncertainty concerns infrastructure development in the presence of sea ice any month of the year. The basin has not yet been drilled, so the assessment depends upon sparse seismic data, onshore geology and analogs. Analysis of geologic risk and predictions of GOR require geologic reconstructions and burial-history/fluid-migration models derived from onshore studies and seismic data. Estimates of undiscovered field sizes and field densities as well as of engineering and cost parameters are derived from specific analogs in the Norwegian Sea, North Sea, Jameson Land and the Barents Shelf as well as from class analogs in extensional and salt provinces worldwide.