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Abstract

The Canadian Arctic margin, from the Alaska/ Canada boundary north-northeastward almost 1,000 km to the north of Banks Island, represents one of the largest sedimentary wedges in the world. With primary input from the Mackenzie River, the margin appears to have all the necessary components of a “world-class” petroleum province: possibilities of structural and stratigraphic traps, multiple potential source rocks, an abundance of potential reservoirs and seals, and timely migration resulting in almost 50 hydrocarbon accumulations discovered to date. However, lack of a large enough discovery to warrant commercial production has resulted in exploration being limited only to the shallow parts of the Mackenzie River Delta (water depths <40 m). Interpretation of recent, long-offset (9 km), deep (18-sec recording), prestack-depth migrated (PSDM to 40 km) data has resulted in extending the petroleum potential to deeper waters and to areas away from the delta. Industry has recognized this potential by acquiring leases beyond the shallow waters, but the full potential of the area will only be realized by new exploratory drilling.

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