Tectonic History and Petroleum Geology of the Russian Arctic Shelves

Drachev, Sergey S. (ExxonMobil International Ltd.) | Malyshev, Nikolay A. (Russian State Oil Company OAO NK Rosneft) | Nikishin, Anatoly M. (Moscow State University )

OnePetro 

The Eastern Barents, Kara, Laptev, East Siberian seas and the western Chukchi Sea occupy a large part of the Eurasian shelf in the Russian Arctic. This huge region consists over 40 sedimentary basins of variable age and genesis, which are thought to bear significant undiscovered hydrocarbon resources. Apart of the East Barents and South Kara shelves with proven world-class gas and gas condensate resources, the rest of the basins are undrilled and explored with rather sparse grid of regional 2D seismic lines.

 

The majority of the sedimentary basins were formed and developed in a rift and post-rift setting and later modified through a series of structural inversions. Important tectonic events controlling the structure and petroleum geology of the basins are: the Caledonian collision and orogeny followed by Late Devonian to Early Carboniferous rifting, Late Paleozoic Baltica/Siberia collision and Uralian orogeny, Triassic and Early Jurassic rifting, Late Jurassic to Early Cretaceous Canada Basin opening accompanied by closure of the Anyui Ocean, the Late Mesozoic Verkhoyansk-Brookian orogeny, and Cenozoic opening of the Eurasia Oceanic Basin.

 

Using available regional seismic lines correlated with borehole data, onshore geology in areas with no exploration drilling, and the Arctic-wide magnetic, bathymetry and gravity grids, we provide more confident characterization of the regional structural elements of the Russian Arctic shelf, and constrain the timing of basin formation, structural styles, lithostratigraphy and possible petroleum systems and plays in frontier areas.

 

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