The Amauligak field, discovered by Gulf Canada and its partners in 1984, contains an estimated one billion barrels of oil-in-place and about 2 TCF of gas. To date, this field remains the only major oil discovery of the Beaufort-MacKenzie Basin. Plans for field production and construction of a MacKenzie Valley pipeline are hindered by the area’s lack of sufficient reserves. New, encouraging regional exploration concepts can be developed, based on the interpretation of recently acquired seismic data and reassessment of drilling results. The Amauligak field is located in the Kugmallit Trough, an extensional sector of the Beaufort Sea, which underwent rifting up to Miocene time. Several observations, regarding the prospectivity of the eastern margin and northern plunge of the Kugmallit Trough can be made: a) a thick Oligocene sandstone interval should exist north of Amauligak, where the section is faulted down and not breached by the intra-Miocene Unconformity as previously assumed; b) abundant source rocks and large structural-stratigraphic traps of low complexity are present at depths from 3.5 to 4.5 km; c) direct hydrocarbon indicators are associated with some of these features; d) an eastern source of sediment along with the traditional southern one is possible; and e) high sand/shale ratios and porosity preservation at depth can be expected for the Kugmallit sequence. Other prospective features are compressional growth structure in the western Beaufort and faulted blocks in the shallow water (seismic transition zone).

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