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TitleA tale of two Proterozoic organic-rich units from the Canadian Arctic: origin, petroleum potential, and the fate of generated oil with implications to paleoenvironments
AuthorKublik, K; Fustic, MORCID logo; Jiang, CORCID logo; Ardakani, O HORCID logo; Galloway, JORCID logo
Source20th International Sedimentological Congress, abstract volume; 2018 p. 1
Alt SeriesNatural Resources Canada, Contribution Series 20180029
PublisherInternational Association of Sedimentologists
MeetingISC2018 - 20th International Sedimentological Congress; Québec, QC; CA; August 13-17, 2018
Mediapaper; on-line; digital
File formatpdf
ProvinceNunavut; Northwest Territories
NTS37G; 38B; 38C; 47G; 47H; 48A; 48B; 48C; 48D
AreaBaffin Island; Shale Valley; Victoria Island
Lat/Long WENS -86.0000 -76.0000 74.0000 71.0000
Subjectsfossil fuels; geochemistry; paleontology; sedimentology; tectonics; stratigraphy; petroleum resources; petroleum exploration; hydrocarbons; oil; hydrocarbon potential; paleoenvironment; petroleum generation; resource estimation; core samples; bedrock geology; lithology; sedimentary rocks; shales; source rocks; organic geochemistry; pyrolysis; palynology; depositional environment; lacustrine environments; marine environments; tectonic history; burial history; oil migration; Arctic Bay Formation; Borden Basin; Wynniatt Formation; Amundsen Basin; Walker Bay Anticline; Mesoproterozoic; Neoproterozoic; Precambrian; Proterozoic
ProgramOffshore Geoscience
Released2018 08 13
AbstractPrevious multidisciplinary studies of organic-rich units of the Mesoproterozoic Arctic Bay Formation (superbly exposed at the Shale Valley, Borden Basin, northern Baffin Island; Turner and Kamber, 2012), and the Neoproterozoic Wynniatt Formation (retrieved from a subsurface core GNME 07-04, Amundsen Basin, Victoria Island; Thomson et al, 2015) were focused on reconstructing the paleo-depositional environments, origin of early life, and the genesis of mineral enrichments. The shales are characterized by a mean residual total organic carbon (TOC) content of ~4.9 wt. % and ~6.1 wt. %, respectively. However, the nature of their organic matter, petroleum potential, and the fate of the generated petroleum is poorly understood.
In this study, Rock-Eval 6 analysis, organic petrology, geochemistry, palynology, depositional environment interpretation (based on lithological descriptions), and/or the reconstructed tectono-stratigraphic post-depositional history are integrated to reconstruct the burial history and evaluate the initial petroleum generation potential of those units.
Results suggest that both units are excellent source rocks. The 220 m thick shale of the Arctic Bay Formation, interpreted as lacustrine Type I source rock with calculated initial TOC of 11 wt. %, had the ultimate hydrocarbon potential of 256,400 barrels per square kilometer (five times higher than well-known source rocks in Gulf of Mexico and West Africa). The 40 m thick shale of the Wynniatt Formation, interpreted as marine Type II source rock with calculated initial TOC of 8.5 wt. % had the ultimate hydrocarbon potential of 26,000 barrels per square kilometer. While small fractions of generated petroleum might be entrapped within Proterozoic units, such as the estimated 28 billion barrels of recoverable oil in Walker Bay Anticline (Pelechaty 1991) and/or the overlying stratigraphic units, the vast majority of oil has leaked out to paleo-environments. Literature review forms the basis for understanding the petroleum migration and losses as well as commonly overseen impact of natural petroleum seepages on paleo-environments.
Summary(Plain Language Summary, not published)
There are organic-rich units within the Proterozoic age Arctic Bay and Wynniatt Formations in Canada's Arctic Islands, but they have not been adequately studied for their petroleum potential. In this study, geochemical and geological analyses are integrated to reconstruct the burial history and petroleum generation potential of these two Formations. Results suggest that both units are excellent source rocks with good potential for having generated hydrocarbons. A fraction of generated petroleum may be still trapped within rock record, but the vast majority of oil is predicted to have leaked out in the geological past. Analogues suggest that the impact of these leaks on paleo-environments was significant.

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