Geology and Assessment of Undiscovered Oil and Gas Resources of the Lomonosov-Makarov Province, 2008

Professional Paper 1824-CC
By: , and 
Edited by: Thomas E. Moore and Donald L. Gautier



The Lomonosov-Makarov Province lies in the central Arctic Ocean and encompasses the northern part of the oceanic Amerasia Basin (Makarov and Podvodnikov Basins) and the adjoining Lomonosov Ridge and Siberian continental margins. The Amerasia Basin is thought to have been created in the Jurassic and Early Cretaceous by rotational rifting of the Alaska-Siberia margin away from the Canada margin about a pivot point in the Mackenzie Delta and an associated continental-scale transform fault along the Lomonosov Ridge. The province is bounded on the south by the Cretaceous Alpha-Mendeleev Ridge, an undersea ridge composed of plume-type volcanic rocks that obliquely crosses the Amerasia Basin, dividing it into northern and southern parts. The thickest passive-margin succession in the province lies along the Siberian margin, where sediments thin from a maximum thickness along the continental margin to less than 2 km in the basin. The northern part of the province consists of the Lomonosov Ridge, which was rifted away from the Eurasia Plate in the Paleocene during formation of the oceanic Eurasia Basin, creating an isolated, narrow, submerged, but high-standing microcontinent. This part of the province contains sediments that were shed from the Eurasia Plate in the Mesozoic and covered by pelagic and hemipelagic sediments in the Cenozoic, creating depositional successions with thicknesses ranging from about 1 to more than 5 km.

This tectonic framework provides the basis for division of the province into four assessment units (AUs), including (1) Lomonosov Ridge AU, (2) Makarov Basin Margin AU, (3) Siberian Passive Margin AU, and (4) Makarov Basin AU. The Lomonosov Ridge and Makarov Basin Margin AUs compose a displaced part of the Cretaceous shelf and slope, respectively, of the Eurasia continental margin with a covering drape of pelagic Cenozoic sediments. The Siberian Passive Margin and Makarov Basin AUs represent the slope of the Siberian continental margin and adjoining basin plain deposits, respectively, deposited on oceanic crust of the northern Amerasia Basin. All of the AUs are entirely submarine and covered by the polar icecap, and consequently have not been explored for petroleum. Petroleum source rock units considered in the assessment of the province are mostly hypothetical, and include Triassic and Jurassic platformal marine shale units on the Lomonosov Ridge, and province-wide Lower Cretaceous synrift, Lower and Upper Cretaceous postrift, and Paleogene organic-rich shale intervals. The most prospective reservoirs and traps are envisioned to include base-of-slope turbidite-fan complexes, slope channels and basins, extensional and growth fault structures, and other stratigraphic, structural, and composite trap features typically present on clastic-dominated continental passive margins. Because of concerns about reservoir quality in the Makarov Basin AU and the detrimental effect of Paleocene rifting in the Lomonosov Ridge AU, these units were not quantitatively assessed, as they were judged to have less than 10 percent probability of containing at least one accumulation of hydrocarbons equal to or greater than 50 million barrels of oil equivalent (MMBOE). The mean volumes of undiscovered resources for the Makarov Basin Margin AU are estimated to be 0.12 billion barrels of oil and 0.74 trillion cubic feet of nonassociated gas, whereas the undiscovered resources for the Siberian Passive Margin AU are estimated to be ~1 billion barrels of oil and 4.7 trillion cubic feet of nonassociated gas.

Suggested Citation

Moore, T.E., Bird, K.J., and Pitman, J.K., 2019, Geology and assessment of undiscovered oil and gas resources of the Lomonosov-Makarov Province, 2008, chap. CC of Moore, T.E., and Gautier, D.L., eds., The 2008 Circum-Arctic Resource Appraisal: U.S. Geological Survey Professional Paper 1824, 43 p.,

ISSN: 2330-7102 (online)

Table of Contents

  • Abstract
  • Introduction
  • Lomonosov-Makarov Province Description
  • Assessment Units
  • Summary of Assessment Results
  • Acknowledgments
  • References Cited
  • Appendixes

Publication type Report
Publication Subtype USGS Numbered Series
Title Geology and assessment of undiscovered oil and gas resources of the Lomonosov-Makarov Province, 2008
Series title Professional Paper
Series number 1824
Chapter CC
DOI 10.3133/pp1824CC
Year Published 2019
Language English
Publisher U.S. Geological Survey
Publisher location Reston, VA
Contributing office(s) Energy Resources Program, Western Mineral and Environmental Resources Science Center
Description Report: vii, 43 p.; 4 Appendixes
Other Geospatial Lomonosov-Makarov Province
Additional Online Files (Y/N) Y
Google Analytic Metrics Metrics page
Additional publication details