GEO ExPro

Source Rock Subcropping in the Baffin Bay

Seabed samples from the Baffin Bay document an active hydrocarbon system offshore northwest Greenland.
This article appeared in Vol. 6, No. 1 - 2009

Advertisement

The northwest Greenland shelf is a frontier petroleum province in the arctic Baffin Bay. Limited seismic data reveal the presence of extensive sedimentary basins on the shelf But exploration is high- risk due to lack of stratigraphic control and documented source rocks.

  • Location of sampling station BBS08. Illustration: TGS.

Seismic Interpretation in Greenland

Initial interpretation of a regional grid of seismic data acquired by TGS in 2007 suggested that deep basin sequences are locally sub-cropping on the seafloor in the innermost part of the shelf. A seabed sampling survey was designed to attempt to recover the sub-cropping sedimentary rocks. A small vessel and shallow coring and dredging equipment were chosen for the survey.

  • Seismic profile on the northwest Greenland shelf showing deep sedimentary sequences subcropping on the seafloor. Data: TGS.

Seabed Sampling

A total of 78 stations were sampled during a 14-daycruise in the summer of 2008. The survey was highly successful. Near in-situ Mid-Cretaceous and Paleogene rocks were recovered at 30 stations. In addition, shallow hydrocarbon microseepage was detected at about 10 stations. Of particular importance was the recovery of marine source rocks of Upper Cretaceous (Cenomanian- Turonian) age. Shales of this age represent an important source rock world-wide, and they have been studied extensively on the Ellesmere Island to the north. The sequence has previously been proposed to be an important source rock in the West Greenland basins, but it has not yet been drilled or sampled.

Reducing Exploration Risk

The first documentation of Cenomanian-Turonian source rocks and microseepage sites offshore West Greenland is important for reducing the exploration risk in the region. An extensive onshore study of the seabed samples has provided abundant new information about the local palaeoenvironment, basin development and petroleum system of the Baffin Bay.

Advertisement

Related Articles

Geology Africa

Was the Mozambique Channel Once Scattered with Islands?

The geological history of the Davie Ridge tells us how tectonic, erosional and climatic forces shaped this part of the earth, pushing the mountains of west Madagascar, which once abutted what is now the coast of Somalia, southwards into the Indian Ocean.
Thumb thumb

Geology The Arctic

Gas Blowouts on the Yamal and Gydan Peninsulas

Last year a giant crater was discovered on the Yamal Peninsula south of the Kara Sea in the Russian Arctic, just 30 km south of the giant Bovanenkovo oil and gas condensate field. It rapidly became world famous as the Yamal crater, holding secrets to the degasification of the Earth’s core.
Thumb 1130x450 thumb