Understanding the Hydrocarbon Systems of the Barents and Kara Seas: New Field Data from Novaya Zemlya
James P. Howard1, Robert A. Scott1, Li Guo1, Jenny Omma1, Irene Gómez Pérez1,
Roman Schekoldin2, David G. Gee3, Evgeny Korago4, and Galina Kovaleva4
1 University of Cambridge, Cambridge, United Kingdom
2 St Petersburg State Mining Institute, St Petersburg, Russia
3 Uppsala University, Uppsala, Sweden
4 VNIIOkeangeologiya, St Petersburg, Russia
The offshore Russian Arctic is a frontier area that contains some of the world's most important proven and potential hydrocarbon provinces. Existing structural and stratigraphic datasets for the region are incomplete, and the tectonic evolution of many areas remains unclear and controversial. The eastern Barents Sea and southern Kara Sea are two offshore areas in which major hydrocarbon discoveries have been made. The Novaya Zemlya archipelago lies between the Barents and Kara Seas and contains the most proximal exposures to these discoveries.
CASP geologists have undertaken two field seasons on Novaya Zemlya as part of the first international expeditions to the archipelago since 1936. The data and samples collected represent a unique resource for understanding the deformation history and sedimentation in adjacent basins. Furthermore, bitumen occurrences have been sampled at a number of localities, including a previously unrecorded oil seep. TOC analysis of these samples and potential source rocks, combined with our revised stratigraphy, provides new insights into the hydrocarbon systems of adjacent basins.
Structural observations, including new apatite fission track data, allow us to test and refine existing models of tectonic evolution and exhumation history. Samples collected for heavy mineral provenance will be combined with data from the wider Barents Shelf in order to identify sediment source regions and transport pathways onto the Barents Shelf and their variation through time