Baffin Bay, northern Canada, represents the northernmost segment of rifting between Greenland and North America, and can be considered a northern extension of the Labrador Sea extinct rift system between Labrador and Greenland. Many questions remain about the nature of the crust beneath parts of Baffin Bay, although extinct spreading axes and a fracture zone have been previously identified based principally on gravity data. Existing deep seismic coverage over Baffin Bay is spatially limited and mostly concentrated in the north, although two regional 2-D transects span the region from the centre to the southern end of the bay. One of the regional 2-D refraction transects revealed a thick sedimentary package overlying oceanic crust along most of the profile, despite a lack of clear magnetic anomalies within Baffin Bay. To extrapolate the 2-D seismic refraction results offline and resolve the regional crustal structure across Baffin Bay, a constrained 3-D gravity inversion was undertaken. Bathymetry and depth to basement were used to constrain the 3-D inversion and the resolved crustal geometry from existing refraction lines was used to gauge the quality and reliability of the inverted model. The final inverted 3-D crustal structure model for Baffin Bay will provide useful constraints for basin studies and will shed light on its tectonic evolution.
Wilton, Derek (Department of Earth Sciences, Memorial University of Newfoundland) | Burden, Elliott (Department of Earth Sciences, Memorial University of Newfoundland) | Greening, Adam (Yamana Gold Corp.)
The Ford’s Bight Diatreme is an apparently rare feature on the Precambrian coast of Labrador. Originally described as a Jurassic-Cretaceous sedimentary breccia cut by lamprophyric dykes, an early report of marine microfossils in the strata poses an interesting sedimentary and petroleum geology problem. In revisiting the area, the succession is now viewed as a rift related diatreme with a Cretaceous (ca. 137 Ma) radiometric age. In earlier work, this rock was dated from assemblages of poorly preserved Jurassic and early Cretaceous marine microfossils. Our own lengthy search for fossils in igneous rocks and clasts and carbonate matrix was fruitless. Some apparently carbonized debris is identified in microscopy and with some oddly shaped (non-biologic) microcrystalline structures seen under SEM. With an age and origin for this feature established from basic geology and radiometric dating, this therein leaves an unresolved petroleum exploration risk - and, namely, did Jurassic marine conditions cover this part of the Labrador coast before earliest Cretaceous volcanism?
Goodarzi, Fariborz (FG&Partners Ltd, 219 Hawkside Mews, NW, Calgary, Alberta, Canada, T3G 3J4) | Ardakani, Omid Haeri (Geological Survey of Canada - Calgary) | Pedersen, Per-Kent (Department of Geoscience, University of Calgary, Calgary, Alberta, Canada, T2N 1N4) | Sanei, Hamed (Geological Survey of Canada - Calgary, Department of Geoscience, University of Calgary, Calgary, Alberta, Canada, T2N 1N4)
Canada has vast oil shale resources (estimated at 180 billion barrels proved recoverable oil shale reserve) similar to the estimated Canadian oil reserve of 179 billion barrels. These deposits consist of various oil shale types deposited in terrestrial, lake, and marine environments. These Canadian oil shale deposits are assessed under auspices of Canada/Israel Industrial Research and Development Program and Geological Survey of Canada for their possible use for extraction of hydrocarbon. The organic rich oil shale deposit with thickness of 60m are suitable for this purpose. This paper reviews the oil shale deposits of Arctic Canada from Ordovician to Carboniferous age. Ordovician shale of Baffin Island, Southampton Island, and Akpatok Islands consist of organic lean, calcareous deposits with variable thickness.
This paper summarises the process and findings of a recent Social Baseline Study (SBS) that four companies recently undertook jointly in Baffin Bay, Greenland. It explains how the companies came to the decision to join forces on the SBS a joint study and describes the one year process. The majority of the paper is devoted to advantages and disadvantages of a joint approach. Examples of advantages were less stakeholder fatigue, consistency of baseline and overall higher value of the project. Inefficient review process and different timelines of drilling are examples of disadvantages. The overall outcome was that the joint approach was widely beneficial, especially for Greenlandic stakeholders. While the joint SBS revealed a number of interesting socioeconomic issues and trends, some of which are described in this paper, the true value of a joint SBS was in the process rather than the product. Private companies, regulators and stakeholders can all benefit from such an approach, and the authors recommend that this becomes a standard approach when situations allow.
Copyright 2014, Offshore Technology Conference This paper was prepared for presentation at the Arctic Technology Conference held in Houston, Texas, USA, 10-12 February 2014. This paper was selected for presentation by an ATC program committee following review of information contained in an abstract submitted by the author(s). Contents of the paper have not been reviewed by the Offshore Technology Conference and are subject to correction by the author(s). The material does not necessarily reflect any position of the Offshore Technology Conference, its officers, or members. Electronic reproduction, distribution, or storage of any part of this paper without the written consent of the Offshore Technology Conference is prohibited. Permission to reproduce in print is restricted to an abstract of not more than 300 words; illustrations may not be copied. The abstract must contain conspicuous acknowledgment of OTC copyright. I. Introduction Overview As climate change renders the Arctic increasingly accessible, there has been a substantial uptick in industry interest in the region; it is believed an estimated $100 billion could be invested in the Arctic over the next decade. The Arctic contains vast oil and natural gas reserves--the U.S. Geological Survey estimates the Arctic could contain 1,670 trillion cubic feet (tcf) of natural gas and 90 billion barrels of oil, or 30 percent of the world's undiscovered gas and 13 percent of oil. Energy companies are certain to be at the forefront of Arctic development and investment. Climate change has played an important role in expanding access to the Arctic region, although there have been fewer opportunities to access lower cost oil and gas plays. As conventional production has declined, industry has had to focus more on difficult-to-access and unconventional oil and gas plays throughout the world, including those in the Arctic. Exploration and development in the Arctic requires expensive, tailored technologies as well as safeguards adapted to the extreme climatic conditions. In the wake of the 2010 Deepwater Horizon incident, there have been additional costs associated with emergency response and containment requirements. Regulators, as well as social and environmental groups, have been outspoken about the dangers and risks linked to Arctic energy development. Bearing in mind the enormous challenges of cleaning up an oil spill in icy conditions, the greatest concern is what kind of impact such a disaster would have on the fragile Arctic ecosystem.
Entering a new basin such as West Greenland’s Baffin Bay with sparse coverage of geophysical data and no wells provides a series of challenges for planning and executing geophysical operations. In addition, arctic exploration requires special attention to safety, environmental issues and ice management. A key to the success of frontier geophysical operations in Baffin Bay was close integration of all disciplines ranging from regional subsurface studies, through new seismic acquisition and processing.
We present some of the geological and geophysical challenges we have faced operating Maersk Oil’s first block in the Arctic – the 12,000 km2 Block 9 in Baffin Bay, West Greenland. We will cover reprocessing of regional 2D lines, planning of a 1800 km2 seismic survey in arctic waters and the execution of this 3D survey with acquisition and processing lined up to have interpretable cubes three weeks after last shot, and how the field observations were used to design and optimize the full onshore processing flow.