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Geology of the Northern Barents Sea: Implications for Petroleum Potential1
Finn B. Gustavsen, Henning Dypvik,
and Anders Solheim2
The shallow geology of the northern
Barents Sea has been studied through analyses of geophysical data and geological
samples from gravity cores. Mesozoic rocks subcrop in the entire study
area, with Triassic-Middle Jurassic rocks dominating the shallowest and
western part of the area, and Upper Jurassic-Lower Cretaceous rocks dominating
the central areas. A palynologically investigated sample, representing
in-situ bed rock, gives an Aptian-early Albian age, indicating that Lower
Cretaceous units dominate the eastern part of the study area. These beds
were deposited during
shallow-marine conditions and show a petrographic
composition comparable to the Carolinefjellet Formation of Svalbard. The
thickness of the Lower Cretaceous section is almost 1000 m. Organic geochemical
analyses of the Aptian-lower Albian rocks suggest a post-Early Cretaceous
erosion of a maximum of 2000 m. An important tectonic event in the region
was a compressive phase near the Cretaceous-Tertiary boundary.
Occurrences of porous, well-sorted Lower
Cretaceous sandstones succeeding organic-rich, mature Upper Jurassic and
Lower Cretaceous shales, sealed by Lower Cretaceous shales within antiform
settings, represent interesting play concepts in the
1997. The American Association of Petroleum Geologists. All rights reserved.
received May 2, 1996; revised manuscript received December 2, 1996; final
acceptance June 16, 1997.
Polar Institute, P.O. Box 5072, Majorstua, N-0301 Oslo, Norway.
of Geology, University of Oslo, P.O. Box 1047, Blindern,
study forms a part of the bilateral Arctic research program between Norway
and Russia (at that time the Soviet Union), agreed upon in 1988. The Norwegian
Research Council for Science and the Humanities, NAVF (later the Norwegian
Research Council, NFR), is acknowledged for funding the project. Financial
support kindly provided by Statoil AS made the acquisition of the present
data possible through Norwegian participation in a Russian cruise in 1992.
Amerada Hess Norge A/S is thanked for their financial support. PGS Nopec
AS is acknowledged for kindly giving us access to the four Russian MCS
lines. Sincere thanks go to the captain and crew aboard the R/V Geolog
Fersman for their valuable cooperation during the cruise in 1992. Kevin
T. Biddle (Exxon), Ståle Johansen (Statoil), Anatoly A. Kaplan (Exxon),
and Christopher Kendall (University of South Carolina) critically reviewed
an earlier version of the manuscript.
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