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TitleLate Paleocene-Middle Eocene hydrocarbon source rock potential in the Arctic Beaufort-Mackenzie Basin
AuthorNeville, L A; McNeil, D H; Grasby, S E; Ardakani, O H; Sanei, H
SourceMarine and Petroleum Geology vol. 86, 2017 p. 1082-1091,
Alt SeriesNatural Resources Canada, Contribution Series 20170138
Mediapaper; on-line; digital
File formatpdf
ProvinceNorthern offshore region
NTS117E; 117F; 117G; 117H
AreaBeaufort-Mackenzie Basin
Lat/Long WENS-142.0000 -136.0000 72.0000 70.0000
Subjectseconomic geology; marine geology; source rocks; hydrocarbon potential; organic carbon; exploration wells; petroleum exploration; thermal history; Natsek E-56; Immiugak A-06
Illustrationslocation maps; stratigraphic columns; seismic profiles; tables; photomicrographs; graphs
ProgramWestern Arctic Sverdrup Basin, GEM2: Geo-mapping for Energy and Minerals
AbstractThe Natsek E-56 oil and gas exploration well from the Arctic Beaufort-Mackenzie Basin (BMB) was selected for a multi-disciplinary study because its strata contain a record of two major Eocene climate events that affected source rock deposition: the Paleocene/Eocene Thermal Maximum (PETM) at ~55.5 Ma and the early mid-Eocene Azolla event at ~49 Ma. Rock-Eval data from Natsek E-56 indicates a
previously overlooked potentially economically significant interval that occurs just below PETM strata. The pre-PETM unit is an organic rich (~30% TOC) coaly-shale deposit with good hydrocarbon source rock potential and marginal thermal maturity. This carbonaceous deposit is characterized by a relatively elevated hydrogen index (HI~149 mg HC/TOC; S2 ~ 38 mg HC/g Rock) which suggests increased input of liptinitic-rich material similar to the sapropelic boghead coal formed in lacustrine environments in the vicinity of the modern Beaufort-Mackenzie delta plain. In recent years, source rock predictions for the Eocene Arctic were postulated from cores on the
Lomonosov Ridge, focusing on organic matter (OM) produced during the Azolla event. OM associated with Azolla also occurs in the Natsek E-56 (TOC ranges from 1 to 14%) but reworked terrestrial matter is a dominant component. The pre-PETM organic rich interval of Natsek E-56 was not recorded at the Lomonosov Ridge, while in Natsek E-56 the interval consists of TOC values double that recorded at any point in the Lomonosov Ridge wells. The occurrence of multiple potential source rocks from the unique depositional environments in the BMB indicates oil and gas potential in late Paleocene-middle Eocene strata of the Beaufort-Mackenzie region.
Summary(Plain Language Summary, not published)
New research on a petroleum well drilled in 1978 in the Beaufort Basin provides insight into previously unrecognised petroleum source rock potential for the region. Results will likely be of interest to industry exploring in the region, as well as shows the value of long term holdings of samples, allowing modern techniques to be applied to samples collected during early exploration rounds.