Alaska has the largest oil field in North America, and it has the nation's highest daily oil production of approximately 2 million barrels per day. This chapter summarizes the status of exploration and development for oil and gas resources of onshore Alaska and offshore state lands (Fig. 1). Emphasis is on geologic and geochemical evidence for the occurrence of oil and gas in three petroliferous areas and their evolution as studied by petroleum system models. Areas of primary interest are the North Slope, Cook Inlet, and Gulf of Alaska. The rest of Alaska has negligible petroleum potential and is discussed only briefly. For a more in-depth discussion of Alaskan geology, the reader is referred to other chapters on regional geology. Other chapters discuss onshore northern Alaska (Moore and others, this volume) and the offshore (Grantz and others, this volume), west-central Alaska (Patton and others, this volume), east-central Alaska (Dover, this volume; Foster and others, this volume), and south-central Alaska (Nokleberg and others, this volume, Chapter 10). The deformed flysch basins are discussed by Kirschner (this volume, Chapter 14), and the lithotectonic terranes are shown on Plate 3 (Silberling and others, this volume). The sedimentary basins and oil fields of Alaska are delineated on Plate 7 (Kirschner, this volume), and the petroleum potential of interior basins is discussed by Kirschner (this volume, Chapter 14). The petroleum potential of the Bering Sea shelf is considered by Marlow and others (this volume), and that of the southern Alaska shelves is in Plafker and
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The Geology of Alaska
You get a comprehensive overview of the geology, tectonic evolution, and mineral resources of Alaska and adjacent areas of the continental margin. Plates include state-wide maps showing geology, physiography, lithotectonic terranes, metamorphic rocks, igneous rocks, sedimentary basins, isotopic age data, neotectonics, isostatic gravity, magnetics, and metallic mineral deposits. Summaries of bedrock geology and geologic history are given for eleven large regions of Alaska and adjacent offshore areas. Twenty topical chapters synthesize data on metamorphic and igneous rocks; major onshore and offshore sedimentary basins; the paleomagnetics evidence for latitudinal displacements and rotations, glacial history and periglacial phenomena; and the occurrence, evolution, and potential of Alaska's vast resources of petroleum, coal, and metallic minerals. A summary chapter provides an overview and presents a possible model for Alaska's Phanerozoic evolution. The Geology of Alaska is the largest publication produced in the Decade of North American Geology program, a fitting tribute to this magnificent area.