Petroleum seepages at Asuk, Disko, West Greenland: Implications for regionals petroleum exploration

J.A. Bojesen-Koefoed, T. Bidstrup, F.G. Christiansen, F. Dalhoff, U. Gregersen, H.P. Nytoft, H. Nøhr-Hansen, A.K. Pedersen, M. Sønderholm

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

19 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Organic geochemical screening and biological marker analysis was carried out on a total of 45 Albian - Cenomanian sandstone and mudstone samples collected from a landslide block on thenorth coast of Disko island, central West Greenland. The landslide block covers an area of severalsquare kilometres, and originated approximately 400 m up-section from where it moved to itspresent position after the last glaciation. The mudstones are generally rich in organic carbon butshow no potential for petroleum generation. However, biodegraded oil stains were found in thepoorly lithified sandstones. Staining by undegraded or only slightly degraded oil in volcanic rocks iscommon in this region, but the occurrence described here is the only known outcrop where staining occurs in siliciclastic sediments, and also the only one known in which the oil is severely biodegraded. The oil stains appear to represent a biodegraded variety of the Cretaceous marine shale derived Itilli oil type which is known from many locations in the Disko-Nussusaq-Svartenhuk Halvø region. The oils entered the sandstones before the landslide event, probably during or beforethe extrusion of the volcanic succession in the Paleogene. This is the first time that a petroleum seepage has been found to the east of the Kuugannguaq-Qunnillik fault zone, which is located approximately 30 km west of Asuk. The presence of stainingby marine oil at Asuk demonstrates that marine petroleum source rocks were deposited muchfurther eastwards than was previously thought, thus expanding the area of potential explorationsignificantly. The presence of marine source rocks to the east of the Kuugannguaq-Qunnillik faultzone may explain the frequent observation of Direct Hydrocarbon Indicators in seismic datacollected in the Vaigat Sound.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)219-236
Number of pages18
JournalJournal of Petroleum Geology
Volume30
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2007

Keywords

  • Biomarker analysis
  • Disko-Nuussuaq
  • Kuugannguaq-Qunnillik fault zone
  • Petroleum see pages
  • West Greenland

Programme Area

  • Programme Area 3: Energy Resources

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