Petroleum Potential of Arctic Canada
- Alan R. Rudkin (R. A. Rudkin Consultants Ltd.)
- Document ID
- Society of Petroleum Engineers
- Journal of Petroleum Technology
- Publication Date
- February 1974
- Document Type
- Journal Paper
- 143 - 149
- 1974. Society of Petroleum Engineers
- 5.1.1 Exploration, Development, Structural Geology, 5.8.5 Oil Sand, Oil Shale, Bitumen, 4.3.4 Scale, 4.2 Pipelines, Flowlines and Risers, 1.10.1 Drill string components and drilling tools (tubulars, jars, subs, stabilisers, reamers, etc), 4.5 Offshore Facilities and Subsea Systems, 1.6 Drilling Operations, 4.6 Natural Gas
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An estimated 18 percent of the world petroleum potential north of the 60th parallel lies in the sedimentary basins of the Canadian Arctic. Little oil parallel lies in the sedimentary basins of the Canadian Arctic. Little oil has been discovered, but significant gas reserves have been found in the Beaufort basin and the Arctic Islands, and with expected large discoveries in the next 2 years, gas from the Beaufort basin should be available to southern markets by 1980.
The terms "petroleum" and "hydrocarbons" include oil, natural gas, and natural gas liquids. Tar sands, oil shales, and coal are all excluded. The term "Arctic" refers to that region lying north of the 60th parallel. parallel. Petroleum or hydrocarbon potential here means the total ultimate recoverable oil and gas resources that are expected to be discovered and produced by conventional methods, allowing for reasonable advances in technology. In this paper the petroleum potential estimates for Canada are based on the volumetric method whereby the volume of the prospective sedimentary rocks is calculated and a petroleum yield factor is applied. This yield factor is determined largely by a general comparison of the subject area with geologically similar areas in a more advanced stage of development, and modified by geologic judgment that takes into account the many factors controlling petroleum genesis, migration, and accumulation. This petroleum genesis, migration, and accumulation. This follows, more or less, the methods pioneered and described in numerous papers published by Lewis G. Weeks and others over the past 25 years. This paper deals primarily with the petroleum potential of Arctic Canada and, in particular, with potential of Arctic Canada and, in particular, with the Arctic Islands and Beaufort Basin that together account for more than 80 percent of Arctic Canada's potential. potential. To provide a basis for comparison with other Arctic regions, the world's petroleum potential north of the 60th parallel will be briefly reviewed.
World Arctic Region
The areas considered to be prospective for petroleum north of the 60th parallel are shown on Fig. 1. The largest area, greatest potential, and probably the greatest proved reserves lie in Russia. Here have been discovered large oil reserves in the West Siberian basin north of latitude 6011 and what appear to be very large gas reserves farther north in this basin near the Ob River east of the Ural Mountains. Gas has also been discovered in the north-central portion of the basin south of Yamal and Gyda Peninsulas, and large gas reserves are reported in the eastern part of the basin near the Lena River. Both gas and oil have also been discovered in the Timan Plateau area of the Central Russian basin, west of the Ural Mountains. The prospective section of the West Siberian basin appears to extend offshore into the Kara Sea, where drilling conditions are relatively favorable; i.e. there is no permanent ice cover and water depths are less than 600 ft. The western part of the Kara Sea (southeast of Novaya Zemlya) therefore appears to be the most likely area for the first Russian Arctic offshore ventures. Offshore prospects also appear to be favorable over a northern extension of the Central Russian basin into the Barents Sea west of Novaya Zemlya. Prospects for significant petroleum production appear to be poor over a large part of eastern Siberia, including the Chukchi Peninsula.
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