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Scientific Investigations Report 2012–5146

Circum-Arctic Resource Appraisal Project

Assessment of Undiscovered Petroleum Resources of the Amerasia Basin Petroleum Province

By David W. Houseknecht, Kenneth J. Bird, and Christopher P. Garrity

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Abstract

The Amerasia Basin Petroleum Province encompasses the Canada Basin and the sediment prisms along the Alaska and Canada margins, outboard from basinward margins (hingelines) of the rift shoulders that formed during extensional opening of the Canada Basin. The province includes the Mackenzie delta and slope, the outer shelves and marine slopes along the Arctic margins of Alaska and Canada, and the deep Canada Basin.

The province is divided into four assessment units (AUs): (1) The Canning-Mackenzie deformed margin AU is that part of the rifted margin where the Brooks Range orogenic belt has overridden the rift shoulder and is deforming the rifted-margin prism of sediment outboard of the hingeline. This is the only part of the Amerasia Basin Province that has been explored and—even though more than 3 billion barrels of oil equivalent (BBOE) of oil, gas, and condensate have been discovered—none has been commercially produced. (2) The Alaska passive margin AU is the rifted-margin prism of sediment lying beneath the Beaufort outer shelf and slope that has not been deformed by tectonism. (3) The Canada passive margin AU is the rifted-margin prism of sediment lying beneath the Arctic outer shelf and slope (also known as the polar margin) of Canada that has not been deformed by tectonism. (4) The Canada Basin AU includes the sediment wedge that lies beneath the deep Canada Basin, north of the marine slope developed along the Alaska and Canada margins. Mean estimates of risked, undiscovered, technically recoverable resources include more than 6 billion barrels of oil (BBO), more than 19 trillion cubic feet (TCF) of associated gas, and more than 16 TCF of nonassociated gas in the Canning-Mackenzie deformed margin AU; about 1 BBO, about 3 TCF of associated gas, and about 3 TCF of nonassociated gas in the Alaska passive margin AU; and more than 2 BBO, about 7 TCF of associated gas, and about 8 TCF of nonassociated gas in the Canada passive margin AU. Quantities of natural gas liquids also are assessed in each AU. The Canada Basin AU was not quantitatively assessed because it is judged to hold less than 10 percent probability of containing at least one accumulation of 50 million barrels of oil equivalent.

First posted November 16, 2012

For additional information contact:
Contact Information, Energy Resources
U.S. Geological Survey
915-A National Center
12201 Sunrise Valley Drive
Reston, VA 20192
http://energy.usgs.gov/

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Suggested citation:

Houseknecht, D.W., Bird, K.J., and Garrity, C.P., 2012, Assessment of undiscovered petroleum resources of the Amerasia Basin Petroleum Province: U.S. Geological Survey Scientific Investigations Report 2012–5146, 36 p., available only at http://pub.usgs.gov/sir/2012/5146.



Contents

Abstract

Introduction

Geologic Setting and Stratigraphy

Source-Rock Systems

Canning-Mackenzie Deformed Margin

Alaska Passive Margin

Canada Basin

Canada Passive Margin

Summary and Conclusions

Acknowledgments

References Cited


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