Salt tectonics and petroleum prospectivity of the Russian Chukchi Sea

UDK: 550.34
DOI: 10.24887/0028-2448-2020-2-12-17
Key words: Arctic, shelf, Chukchi Sea, salt tectonics, oil and gas potential
Authors: M.V. Skaryatin (Gubkin University, RF, Moscow; RN-Exploration LLC, RF, Moscow), A.A. Batalova (Scientific Arctic Centre LLC, RF, Moscow), E.Yu. Vorgacheva (RN-Exploration LLC, RF, Moscow), E.A. Bulgakova (RN-Exploration LLC, RF, Moscow), S.A. Zaytseva (RN-Exploration LLC, RF, Moscow), D.V. Igtisamov (RN-Shelf-Arctic LLC, RF, Moscow), R.Kh. Moiseeva (Scientific Arctic Centre LLC, RF, Moscow), V.E. Verzhbitskiy (Rosneft Oil Company, RF, Moscow), N.A. Malyshev (Rosneft Oil Company, RF, Moscow), V.V. Obmetko (Rosneft Oil Company, RF, Moscow), A.A. Borodulin (Rosneft Oil Company, RF, Moscow)

Previously published studies revealed diapirs in the American Chukchi Sea sedimentary cover. Similar diapirs were identified within the rifted margin in the Russian Chukchi Sea during exploration activity of the Rosneft Oil Company across the “Severo-Vrangelevsky-1” license block. Several stratigraphic intervals of the growth strata adjacent to the diapirs and normal faults converging to diapirs were observed on seismic. Density modeling reveals that diapirs require low densities. The Wrangel Island field studies encounter outcropping in-situ Lower Carboniferous gypsum rocks serving as an important argument to the diapirs’ evaporitic composition. The Sverdrup basin containing known Carboniferous evaporates is the paleogeographically closest basin to the modern Chukchi Sea. Numerous oil and gas discoveries in the Sverdrup basin are associated with salt diapirs underline the need for detailed examination of the Chukchi Sea salt tectonics and related plays. The sub-salt, lateral and supra-salt plays were distinguished. The lateral play may be the most promising as it likely contains numerous carbonate and terrigenous reservoirs and source rocks intervals in a wide stratigraphic range, analogues to prolific hydrocarbon-bearing strata in the Alaska North Slope basins. Results of the current study reveal new plays, contribute toward resources growth and decrease risks in the frontier region exploration held by the Rosneft Oil Company.

References

1. Harrison J.C., St-Onge M.R., O.V. Petrov et al., Geological map of the Arctic, Geological Survey of Canada, 2011.

2. Grantz A.M., Holmes M.L., Kososki B.A., Geological framework of the Alaskan continental terrace in the Chukchi and Beaufort Seas, Canada's continental margins and offshore petroleum exploration, Canadien Society of Petroleum Geologists Memoir 4, 1975, pp. 669–700.

3. Thurston D.K., Lathamer R.T., Seismic evidence of evaporite diapirs in the Chukchi Sea, Alaska, Geology, 1991, V. 19, pp. 477–480.

4. Sokolov S.D., Tuchkova M.I., Moiseeva A.V. et al., Tectonic zoning of Wrangel Island, Arctic region (In Russ.), Geotektonika = Geotectonics, 2017, no. 1, pp. 3–18.

5. Jakobsson M., Cherkis N.Z., Woodward J. et al., A new grid of Arctic bathynmetry: a significant resource for scientists and mapmakers, EOS Transactions AGU, 2000, 89 p.

6. Tuchkova M.I., Sokolov S.D., Isakova T.N. et al., Carboniferous carbonate rocks of the Chukotka fold belt: Tectnostratigraphy, depositional environments and paleogeography, Journal of Geodynamics, 2018, DOI: 10.1016/j.jog.2018.05.006.

7. Malyshev N.A., Obmetko V.V., Borodulin A.A., Hydrocarbon potential of the Eastern Arctic sedimentary basins (In Russ.), Nauchno-tekhnicheskiy vestnik OAO “NK “Rosneft'”, 2010, no. 1, pp. 20–28.

8. Nikishin A.M., Malyshev N.A., Petrov E.I., Geological structure and history of the Arctic Ocean, EAGE Publications bv, 2014, 88 р.

9. Sokolov S.D., Ledneva G.V., Piis V.L., New data on the age and genesis of igneous rocks in the Kolyuchinskaya Guba (Eastern Chukotka) (In Russ.), DAN = Doklady Earth Sciences, 2009, V. 425, no. 6, pp. 785–789.

10. Golionko B.G., Vatrushkina E.V., Verzhbitskiy V.E. et al., Deformations and Structural Evolution of Mesozoic Complexes in Western Chukotka (In Russ.), Geotektonika = Geotectonics, 2018, no. 1, pp. 63–78.

11. URL: http://www.scotese.com/

12. Meneley R.A., Henao D., Merritt R.K. ,The Northwest Margin of the Sverdrup Basin, Proceedings of Symposium on Canada's Continental Margins, 1974.

13. Davies G.R., Nassichuk W.W., Subaqueous evaporites of the Carboniferous Otto Fiord Formation, Canadian Arctic Archipelago: a summary, Geology, 1975, no. 3, pp. 273–278.

14. Kirkland D.W., Evans R., Source-rock potential of evaporitic environment, American Association of Petroleum Geologists Bulletin, 1981, V. 65, pp. 181–190.

15. Schofield N., Alsop I., Warren J. et al., Mobilizing salt: Magma-salt interactions, Geology, 2014, V. 42(7), pp. 599–602.

Previously published studies revealed diapirs in the American Chukchi Sea sedimentary cover. Similar diapirs were identified within the rifted margin in the Russian Chukchi Sea during exploration activity of the Rosneft Oil Company across the “Severo-Vrangelevsky-1” license block. Several stratigraphic intervals of the growth strata adjacent to the diapirs and normal faults converging to diapirs were observed on seismic. Density modeling reveals that diapirs require low densities. The Wrangel Island field studies encounter outcropping in-situ Lower Carboniferous gypsum rocks serving as an important argument to the diapirs’ evaporitic composition. The Sverdrup basin containing known Carboniferous evaporates is the paleogeographically closest basin to the modern Chukchi Sea. Numerous oil and gas discoveries in the Sverdrup basin are associated with salt diapirs underline the need for detailed examination of the Chukchi Sea salt tectonics and related plays. The sub-salt, lateral and supra-salt plays were distinguished. The lateral play may be the most promising as it likely contains numerous carbonate and terrigenous reservoirs and source rocks intervals in a wide stratigraphic range, analogues to prolific hydrocarbon-bearing strata in the Alaska North Slope basins. Results of the current study reveal new plays, contribute toward resources growth and decrease risks in the frontier region exploration held by the Rosneft Oil Company.

References

1. Harrison J.C., St-Onge M.R., O.V. Petrov et al., Geological map of the Arctic, Geological Survey of Canada, 2011.

2. Grantz A.M., Holmes M.L., Kososki B.A., Geological framework of the Alaskan continental terrace in the Chukchi and Beaufort Seas, Canada's continental margins and offshore petroleum exploration, Canadien Society of Petroleum Geologists Memoir 4, 1975, pp. 669–700.

3. Thurston D.K., Lathamer R.T., Seismic evidence of evaporite diapirs in the Chukchi Sea, Alaska, Geology, 1991, V. 19, pp. 477–480.

4. Sokolov S.D., Tuchkova M.I., Moiseeva A.V. et al., Tectonic zoning of Wrangel Island, Arctic region (In Russ.), Geotektonika = Geotectonics, 2017, no. 1, pp. 3–18.

5. Jakobsson M., Cherkis N.Z., Woodward J. et al., A new grid of Arctic bathynmetry: a significant resource for scientists and mapmakers, EOS Transactions AGU, 2000, 89 p.

6. Tuchkova M.I., Sokolov S.D., Isakova T.N. et al., Carboniferous carbonate rocks of the Chukotka fold belt: Tectnostratigraphy, depositional environments and paleogeography, Journal of Geodynamics, 2018, DOI: 10.1016/j.jog.2018.05.006.

7. Malyshev N.A., Obmetko V.V., Borodulin A.A., Hydrocarbon potential of the Eastern Arctic sedimentary basins (In Russ.), Nauchno-tekhnicheskiy vestnik OAO “NK “Rosneft'”, 2010, no. 1, pp. 20–28.

8. Nikishin A.M., Malyshev N.A., Petrov E.I., Geological structure and history of the Arctic Ocean, EAGE Publications bv, 2014, 88 р.

9. Sokolov S.D., Ledneva G.V., Piis V.L., New data on the age and genesis of igneous rocks in the Kolyuchinskaya Guba (Eastern Chukotka) (In Russ.), DAN = Doklady Earth Sciences, 2009, V. 425, no. 6, pp. 785–789.

10. Golionko B.G., Vatrushkina E.V., Verzhbitskiy V.E. et al., Deformations and Structural Evolution of Mesozoic Complexes in Western Chukotka (In Russ.), Geotektonika = Geotectonics, 2018, no. 1, pp. 63–78.

11. URL: http://www.scotese.com/

12. Meneley R.A., Henao D., Merritt R.K. ,The Northwest Margin of the Sverdrup Basin, Proceedings of Symposium on Canada's Continental Margins, 1974.

13. Davies G.R., Nassichuk W.W., Subaqueous evaporites of the Carboniferous Otto Fiord Formation, Canadian Arctic Archipelago: a summary, Geology, 1975, no. 3, pp. 273–278.

14. Kirkland D.W., Evans R., Source-rock potential of evaporitic environment, American Association of Petroleum Geologists Bulletin, 1981, V. 65, pp. 181–190.

15. Schofield N., Alsop I., Warren J. et al., Mobilizing salt: Magma-salt interactions, Geology, 2014, V. 42(7), pp. 599–602.


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