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Petroleum Exploration Offshore Southern Baffin Island, Northern Labrador Sea, Canada
Exploration on the continental shelf and slope in the northern Labrador Sea has been carried out by the petroleum industry since 1968. Data acquired include seismic reflection and refraction surveys, magnetic and gravity surveys, vertical seismic profiling and seafloor sampling. In addition, two wells — the Aquitaine et al, Hekja 0-71 and the Esso HB Gjoa G-37 — were recently drilled by industry.
Hekja 0-71 was drilled to 3267 m in 1979 and the well was deepened to 4566 m in 1980. The section penetrated is dominantly nearshore to marine sandstones and shales. The lower 1000 m of drilled section consists of alkalic volcanics interbedded with chalky clays and ranges in age from Danian to Early Cretaceous. The gross pay interval between 3210 and 3286 m contains shallow marine to continental fluvial Paleocene sandstones and shales. Porous sandstones comprise 44 m of this interval and tested gas and condensate.
The Gjoa G-37 well, located on a mid-Eocene wrench-related anticline, penetrated 1300 m of interbedded Paleocene marine shales and alkalic volcanics overlain by 2700 m of Paleocene to Recent shales and siltstones.
Rifting in the northern Labrador Sea began, at the latest, in Early Cretaceous. A transform fault zone dominates all tectonic aspects of the shelf. During the Paleocene, extensive volcanism occurred and wrench-related structures formed. Most rifting ceased by late Eocene to early Oligocene. The sediments deposited are 6000 m thick over large areas and locally, where Cretaceous grabens are present, exceed 8000 m. Some of the sediments contain good reservoir rocks as well as petroleum source resinite, in addition to marine-derived organic matter.
The kinds of traps present include extensional as well as wrench-related features and possibly large stratigraphic traps. Reservoirs include possible mid-Eocene and known Paleocene sandstones. In addition, Lower Cretaceous sandstones below the volcanics and lower Paleozoic carbonates and sandstones resting on Precambrian crystallines are anticipated.
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