Characterization of Upper Palaeozoic organic-rich units in Svalbard: implications for the petroleum systems of the Norwegian Barents shelf

J.B. Nicolaisen, G. Elvebakk, J. Ahokas, J.A. Bojesen-Koefoed, S. Olaussen, J. Rinna, J.E. Skeie, L. Stemmerik

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7 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Recent discoveries of hydrocarbons along the western margin of the Norwegian Barents Shelf have emphasised the need for a better understanding of the source rock potential of the Upper Palaeozoic succession. In this study, a comprehensive set of organic geochemical data have been collected from the Carboniferous – Permian interval outcropping on Svalbard in order to re-assess the offshore potential. Four stratigraphic levels with organic-rich facies have been identified: (i) Lower Carboniferous (Mississippian) fluvio-lacustrine intervals with TOC between 1 and 75 wt.% and a cumulative organic-rich section more than 100 m thick; (ii) Upper Carboniferous (Pennsylvanian) evaporite-associated marine shales and organic-rich carbonates with TOC up to 20 wt.%; (iii) a widespread lowermost Permian organic-rich carbonate unit, 2–10 m thick, with 1–10 wt. % TOC; and (iv) Lower Permian organic-rich marine shales with an average TOC content of 10 wt.%. Petroleum can potentially be tied to organic-rich facies at formation level based on the gammacerane index, δ 13C of the aromatic fraction and/or the Pr/Ph ratio. Relatively heavy δ 13C values, a low gammacerane index and high Pr/Ph ratios characterize Lower Carboniferous non-marine sediments, whereas evaporite-associated facies have lighter δ 13C, a higher gammacerane index and lower Pr/Ph ratios.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)59-78
Number of pages20
JournalJournal of Petroleum Geology
Volume42
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2019

Keywords

  • Barents Sea
  • biomarkers
  • gammacerane index
  • geochemistry
  • isotope ratios
  • Norway
  • petroleum
  • source rocks
  • Spitsbergen
  • Svalbard
  • Upper Palaeozoic

Programme Area

  • Programme Area 3: Energy Resources

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