Greenland Resource Assessment, Assessment Unit 4 – North-East Greenland. Project Summary

Gregers Dam, Morten Bjerager, Jørgen A. Bojesen-Koefoed, Michael Bryld Wessel Fyhn, Anders Mathiesen, Lars Kristensen, Martin Sønderholm, Eva Willerslev, Thomas Varming, Martin Peter Brandt

Research output: Book/ReportReport (publicly available)


A play-based resource assessment of conventional hydrocarbons has been performed for the offshore areas of North-East Greenland (Assessment Unit 4, AU4) which is part of the major rift complex formed during the opening of the North Atlantic. Five post-Triassic play levels have been fully assessed in the offshore prospective area covering 1,975,000 km2. The pre-Jurassic plays (Plays 8–12) are all very deeply buried, and any internal source rocks are therefore overmature except very locally in areas around structural highs. Therefore, only identified prospectivity is considered in areas with relatively low total risk (northern Danmarkshavn Ridge).

The known prospectivity includes 308 leads from ten play levels (Devonian ‒ Eocene) with mean risked recoverable volumes of ~4,000 MMBOE. The undiscovered resources have an estimated mean of ~2,700 MMBOE risked recoverable conventional hydrocarbons. Thus, the total prospectivity has mean risked recoverable volumes of ~6,700 MMBOE resulting in an average area yield of ~3 MB/1000 km2 (risked). The unrisked Pmean volumes for the leads of the five evaluated play levels range from <1 to 1500 MMBOE with a mean of 115 MMBOE. The main prospectivity is found in the region around the Danmarkshavn Ridge, where earlier exploration efforts also were focused, however, without any exploration drilling taking place.

The geologic probabilities for reservoir quality, reservoir effectiveness, seal effectiveness, trap presence and charge for AU4 were determined based on careful play mapping constructing a series of numeric CRS (Common Risk Segment) maps and CCRS (Composite Common Risk Segment) maps of the evaluated plays in the assessment area. In this manner, the probabilities are consistently applied throughout the area for both the known and unknown prospectivity.

The assessment results presented are based on all available data collected and interpreted by the industry, GEUS, NUNAOIL and the Government of Greenland and reflect the state of geologic knowledge of the offshore and onshore areas of North-East Greenland at the time of study. Any future drilling and evaluation of the petroleum systems and plays based on new data within this area will add to the geologic knowledge and will therefore lead to a refinement of these assessment results.

The assessment was carried out using the Player® GIS software provided by GIS-pax. The methodology and results of the assessment have been quality controlled by the Norwegian Petroleum Directorate and GIS-pax.

The results of this study are reported in an extensive ArcGIS project supported by a comprehensive slide package which includes 12 presentations, reflecting the workflow of the project, including:

1. Introduction
2. Database
3. Offshore Structural Elements
4. Seismic Framework
5. Seismic-Stratigraphic Framework
6. Offshore Tectonic Development
7. Petroleum Systems
8. Learnings from Norway
9. Plays Analysis
10. Lead Overview
11. Input Parameters
12. Yet-to-Find Analysis

The Player and ArcGIS projects together with the slide pack are available for the petroleum exploration industry at no cost and can be downloaded from the project website,
Original languageEnglish
PublisherDe Nationale Geologiske Undersøgelser for Danmark og Grønland
Number of pages26
Publication statusPublished - 28 Oct 2021

Programme Area

  • Programme Area 3: Energy Resources


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