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Abstract

Analysis of a large thermal maturity dataset indicates that the Carboniferous to Eocene Sverdrup Basin in the Canadian Arctic had a uniform response to thermal stress with depth for Mesozoic strata. Thermal maturity was established at the level of the widespread Upper Triassic Gore Point Member; a good seismic reflector, occurring in close vertical proximity to the two main oil-prone source rocks in the basin. The Gore Point Member is in the gas window (Ro>1.35%) in the northeastern part of the Sverdrup Basin, whereas in the western Sverdrup Basin its maturity does not exceed 1.2% Ro. This would support the hypothesis that large quantities of gas found at the Drake, Hecla and Whitefish fields have derived from a deeper source, probably in Permian or lower Palaeozoic strata. A normal burial curve is established using boreholes drilled in areas with no structural complexity at time of maximum burial. Low-amplitude structures, including the Drake, Hecla and Whitefish fields, show little or no uplift following maximum burial in the Paleocene, indicating that these structures formed prior to the Eocene folding related to the Eurekan Orogeny. Because they were present at the time of maximum burial, they were available to be charged during hydrocarbon migration. In contrast, high-amplitude structures show evidence of large uplifts following maximum burial. They formed in the Eocene and hence post-date most hydrocarbon migration.

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