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Oil and gas resource potential north of the Arctic Circle

By
Donald L. Gautier
Donald L. Gautier
US Geological Survey, 345 Middlefield Road, Menlo Park, CA 94025, USA
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Kenneth J. Bird
Kenneth J. Bird
US Geological Survey, 345 Middlefield Road, Menlo Park, CA 94025, USA
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Ronald R. Charpentier
Ronald R. Charpentier
US Geological Survey, Box 25046 Federal Center, Denver, CO 80225, USA
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Arthur Grantz
Arthur Grantz
930 Van Auken Circle, Palo Alto, CA 94303, USA
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David W. Houseknecht
David W. Houseknecht
US Geological Survey, 12201 Sunrise Valley Drive, Reston, VA 20192, USA
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Timothy R. Klett
Timothy R. Klett
US Geological Survey, Box 25046 Federal Center, Denver, CO 80225, USA
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Thomas E. Moore
Thomas E. Moore
US Geological Survey, 345 Middlefield Road, Menlo Park, CA 94025, USA
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Janet K. Pitman
Janet K. Pitman
US Geological Survey, Box 25046 Federal Center, Denver, CO 80225, USA
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Christopher J. Schenk
Christopher J. Schenk
US Geological Survey, Box 25046 Federal Center, Denver, CO 80225, USA
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John H. Schuenemeyer
John H. Schuenemeyer
SW Statistical Consulting, 960 Sligo Street, Cortez, CO 81321, USA
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Kai Sørensen
Kai Sørensen
Geological Survey of Denmark and Greenland, Øster Voldgade 10, DK-1350 Copenhagen K, Denmark
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Marilyn E. Tennyson
Marilyn E. Tennyson
US Geological Survey, Box 25046 Federal Center, Denver, CO 80225, USA
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Zenon C. Valin
Zenon C. Valin
US Geological Survey, 345 Middlefield Road, Menlo Park, CA 94025, USA
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Craig J. Wandrey
Craig J. Wandrey
US Geological Survey, Box 25046 Federal Center, Denver, CO 80225, USA
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Published:
January 01, 2011

Abstract

The US Geological Survey recently assessed the potential for undiscovered conventional petroleum in the Arctic. Using a new map compilation of sedimentary elements, the area north of the Arctic Circle was subdivided into 70 assessment units, 48 of which were quantitatively assessed. The Circum-Arctic Resource Appraisal (CARA) was a geologically based, probabilistic study that relied mainly on burial history analysis and analogue modelling to estimate sizes and numbers of undiscovered oil and gas accumulations. The results of the CARA suggest the Arctic is gas-prone with an estimated 770–2990 trillion cubic feet of undiscovered conventional natural gas, most of which is in Russian territory. On an energy-equivalent basis, the quantity of natural gas is more than three times the quantity of oil and the largest undiscovered gas field is expected to be about 10 times the size of the largest undiscovered oil field. In addition to gas, the gas accumulations may contain an estimated 39 billion barrels of liquids. The South Kara Sea is the most prospective gas assessment unit, but giant gas fields containing more than 6 trillion cubic feet of recoverable gas are possible at a 50% chance in 10 assessment units. Sixty per cent of the estimated undiscovered oil resource is in just six assessment units, of which the Alaska Platform, with 31% of the resource, is the most prospective. Overall, the Arctic is estimated to contain between 44 and 157 billion barrels of recoverable oil. Billion barrel oil fields are possible at a 50% chance in seven assessment units. Undiscovered oil resources could be significant to the Arctic nations, but are probably not sufficient to shift the world oil balance away from the Middle East.

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Contents

Geological Society, London, Memoirs

Arctic Petroleum Geology

Anthony M. Spencer
Anthony M. Spencer
Statoil, Norway
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Ashton F. Embry
Ashton F. Embry
Geological Survey of Canada, Canada
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Donald L. Gautier
Donald L. Gautier
United States Geological Survey, USA
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Antonina V. Stoupakova
Antonina V. Stoupakova
Moscow State University, Russia
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Kai Sørensen
Kai Sørensen
Geological Survey of Denmark and Greenland
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Geological Society of London
Volume
35
ISBN electronic:
9781862394100
Publication date:
January 01, 2011

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