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Over the past 75 years, hydrocarbon exploration of Arctic regions north of the Arctic Circle (66°N) has yielded some 450 discoveries which collectively account for 2.5% of global conventional liquids discovered to date and 15.5% of the world's discovered conventional natural gas. Accumulations occur in rocks ranging from Cambrian to Pleistocene in age but 94% of all Arctic hydrocarbon resources occur in clastic reservoirs of Mesozoic age. Although discoveries have been reported from 15 different basins onshore and offshore Alaska, Canada, Norway and Russia, 75% of all discovered resources are located in the portion of Russia's Western Siberia Basin that lies north of 66°N. Hydrocarbon accumulations discovered in the Arctic region have been generated from nearly 40 different petroleum systems. The main elements of these petroleum systems such as sources, reservoirs and seals are described and the chronology of these depositional events is summarized in two chronologic charts representing the Eastern and Western hemispheres.

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