Since its inauguration in 2009, the bi-annual 3P Arctic event has focused on the geological history and exploration potential of the Circum-Arctic basins.
Ensuring that the event is led by the important foundations of science and exploration in the region, and not by political considerations; the Polar Petroleum Potential Conference and Exhibition has built an enviable reputation as the leading geoscience event for this demanding and icy region.
The previous three editions of this event were held in Moscow, Halifax and Stavanger. In 2015 we plan to repeat the show in Stavanger. The previous editions focused on high quality scientific presentations, exploring the most up to date developments in the region. In addition they facilitated fantastic networking opportunities for companies and individuals to build important relationships and to develop their knowledge of this vast area. This will continue to be the aim for the upcoming event in Stavanger.
The 3P technical programme will be built around 15 main conference themes. The abstracts received will then form approximately 18 sessions, covering the Arctic Region and everything from new maps and datasets of the region to discovering the Arctic orogeny’s and basement rocks beneath the sedimentary basins. With over 200 oral and poster presentations expected; covering all aspects of geology, geophysics and petroleum exploration potential of the Arctic sedimentary basins, this show is a must.
Arctic orogenies and basement rocks beneath sedimentary basins
The structural fabrics of Eurasian Arctic orogens (e.g., Timanides, Caledonides, Uralides) project across the Eurasia basin but remain poorly documented or unrecognized beyond Lomonosov Ridge. However, numerous studies currently underway indicate that rapid advances recognizing and defining these orogens in the Arctic margins of Canada and the US, as well as in the basement beneath the East Siberian Shelf, can be anticipated over the next few years. Such investigations also depend on understanding these orogens (architecture, age, tectonic and thermal history) in their ‘type’ locations. This session invites contributions that enhance our recognition and understanding of orogens and their offshore extent hidden beneath sedimentary basins of the Arctic.
Mapping the Arctic – new geological and geophysical maps and datasets
The Arctic is one of the last frontiers when it comes to understanding the geology. Geological and geophysical databases are still sparse compared to the rest of the world. We are faced with many challenges when collecting Arctic data. Larger parts of the landmasses surrounding the Arctic seas are sparsely populated with little infrastructure. There are large practical, political and economic challenges working in these remote areas. For most areas we are facing harsh ice conditions that require specialized equipment and often with support functions like icebreakers, helicopters and supply vessels. Good ice management is important for safe and more efficient operations. Still in recent years a lot of acquisition activity in all parts of the Arctic has been reported. During the last five years more than 200, 000 line kilometre 2D seismic data has been acquired north of 70 dgr N. Several expeditions have been attempted to reach closer to the North Pole while acquiring 2D seismic. The more advanced exploration tools like 3D seismic is so far restricted to parts seasonally free of ice like the Barents Sea, West Greenland and Kara Sea. Satellite, airborne and ship track potential field data, plus seafloor sampling are data types contributing significantly to the subsurface understanding. Many scientific and commercial interpretation reports and maps based on existing and newly acquired data have been published recent years.
Impacts of climate variability on Arctic petroleum resources and operations
The challenge to understand the Arctic petroleum systems is the uneven distribution of geological and geophysical information due to its remoteness and perennial sea ice cover. The variability of the sea ice distribution is unpredictable, and makes a sound planning of any expedition/survey difficult. From a single scientific drill hole close to the North Pole, however, it is known that in the early Cenozoic the climate of the Arctic was very different from today. The warmer climate conditions in combination with the oceanic circulation in a restricted Arctic Ocean were responsible for anoxic conditions. The areal extent of such anoxic events in the northern North Atlantic/Arctic and their duration/variability since Mesozoic times, might have a profound influence on the formation of source rocks.
On the contrary, the present-day ice cover as well as ice bergs make operations in Arctic seas difficult. Especially large ice bergs are a threat for any technical installation on the seafloor, since their keels might be deep to destroy them. Thus, the seafloor of the Arctic shelves is exhibited to massive erosion by former ice streams or present-day ice bergs. Here, statistical models are needed to provide probabilities for such events in certain areas.
In this session we like to invite any contribution focussing on the latest findings on Arctic petroleum resources as well as on technical solutions to safely operate on Arctic and sub-Arctic shelves.
Inquiries can be sent to:
Wilfried Jokat – Alfred Wegener Institute
Western Norway & Northeast Greenland
Until the earliest Eocene the the conjugate continental margins of Greenland and Norway were part of a single rifted continent. A rift system between Greenland and Norway connected the evolving Artic Ocean region (Eurasia Basin) and the opening NE Atlantic, that today hosts major hydrocarbon accumulations. Hydrocarbon exploration activity in the region is at varying levels of maturity with frontier areas for exploration on the NE Greenland Shelf and highly mature areas on the mid-Norwegian margin. Consequently information from mature areas in Mid Norway is potentially applicable to less well explored areas on the NE Greenland Shelf whilst information from outcrops in NE Greenland provides insights into the evolution of the offshore areas of both margins.
Papers are invited that enhance our understanding of the geology of the region from the point of view of its petroleum potential as well as from a more general perspective.
Contributions to the session on the following topics are welcomed:
– Plate tectonics and palaeogeography
– Stratigraphy, sedimentology and basin development
– Provenance and source to sink systems
– Impact of rifted margin and shear margin tectonics on basin development and evolution
– Conjugate margins and onshore-offshore correlations
– Phases of magmatism and uplift and their impact on hydrocarbon systems and basin development
Northern West Siberia – Kara Sea
Exploration and development of one of the world most prolific areas.
In the North-western part of Western Siberia Basin, numerous of ultra-large discoveries have been made, which contribute significantly to the gas supply to the Western Europe. Many undeveloped gas discoveries are located in the Yamal to Gydan area. The giant field Bovanekova located on the Yamal Peninsula is under preparation for full scale production. Although gas has been discovered in several stratigraphic intervals, the main productive intervals are in the lower Cretaceous section of Neocomian age. Numerous play types have been proven, both structural and stratigraphic. The petroleum potential of other intervals ranging from Permain / Carboniferous to Jurassic is more uncertain but may have a larger potential.
In the Kara Sea new seismic data has led to increased understanding of the structural development and the how the Palaeozoic and Mesozoic reservoirs develops towards North West. Two substantial undeveloped discoveries, Rusanovskaya and Leningradskaya, were made back in the eighties. The latest discovery made by Rosneft / Exxon Mobil (autumn 2014) indicate substantial amount of light oil in addition to gas. The total YTF potential of the Kara Sea is still uncertain. A major challenge for the remote hash area will be development and transport of the hydrocarbons.
In this context the Greater Barents Sea represent the Norwegian and Russian Barents Sea, the surrounding islands, Svalbard, Frantz Josef Land, Novaya Zemlya and Northern Pechora Basin.
Record exploration activity in the Norwegian Barents Sea has resulted in several new oil and gas discoveries. On the Russian part of the Barents Sea lots of new geophysical data has been acquired. All the new data have given the opportunity to increase the understanding of the structural and stratigraphic development of the Greater Barents Sea. Petroleum systems ranging from Palaeozoic to Cenozoic are proven and show that the Barents Sea region is rather unique when it comes to numbers of plays and petroleum systems. As part of recent exploration activity large amounts of new high quality geophysical data have been collected. Analysis of the new geophysical data such as seismic, gravimetric, magnetic and electromagnetic data, and various new modelling methods, provide a fundament for new exploration concepts.
Due to remoteness, the present low oil price and areas located close to the maximum extension of the ice edge, development of small to medium sized oil discoveries in the Barents Sea is a major challenge. Further technological development and cooperation may be a solution to develop the discovered resources, especially stranded gas.
Session topics include:
– Plate tectonics and palaeogeography
– Relationships between the geological evolution of the Barents Sea Shelf and the rifting and opening of the Arctic Ocean and the Atlantic Ocean
– Basin evolution and the development of regional sedimentary sequences
– Stratigraphy and onshore-offshore correlations
– Hydrocarbon systems and play concepts
– Exploration case studies
Siberian Arctic – offshore territories and islands east of Taimyr Peninsula
The Siberian Arctic region represents a large oil and gas exploration frontier. The area hosts major sedimentary basins with significant petroleum potential – Laptev Sea, East Siberian, and Chukchi Seas. The eastern Russian Arctic is far less studied than the other Arctic areas to the west, and contains no deep offshore wells. Consequently, the understanding of the geology and petroleum systems is based on seismic data together with the study of onshore outcrops exposed along the northern part of Siberian craton, including in the few island groups. This session invites contributions that deal with basin evolution, tectonics, structuring, sedimentary history, palaeogeography , seismic studies, and petroleum potential.
Arctic Alaska – onshore and offshore territories
Arctic Alaska hosts the largest oil field in North America (Prudhoe Bay) and the largest onshore oil discovery in North America in the past 25 years (Alpine). Significant potential remains for large oil discoveries, especially in the underexplored offshore (Chukchi and Beaufort Seas), and for smaller oil discoveries onshore and nearshore. Huge accumulations of heavy oil are attracting innovative recovery technologies, and recovery of oil from source-rock systems is being tested. Exploitation of an enormous gas resource awaits construction of a pipeline to market. This theme welcomes presentations that characterize the geology of known and potential oil and gas accumulations, and that provide fundamental geological, geophysical, and geochemical constraints on the occurrence of petroleum resources.
Canadian Arctic islands and rifted margins
Basin tectonic models for the Canadian Arctic are in a state of flux, highlighting the importance of fundamental geology. New analytical capabilities are challenging established basin reconstructions and paleooceanography, and among other factors this may show the interplay between biotic systems and active tectonics. This session welcomes contributions on framework geology, igneous and sedimentary geochemistry, paleontology, radiometric age dating, and thermal modelling applied but not limited to: Rodinian reconstructions; Neoproterozoic-Cambrian rifting leading to establishment and then uplift of the Franklinian Basin; genesis and basin tectonic evolution of the Sverdrup Basin; and late Mesozoic rift to drift stages of the Canadian Arctic margin.
Inquiries can be sent to:
Thomas Hadlari – CGS
Baffin Bay and West Greenland
The presence of active petroleum systems around the Baffin Bay margin is established from drilling along West Greenland and in Labrador Sea, as well as from sea-surface oil seeps along the Baffin Island shelf. Sedimentary basins present in the region include Paleozoic, Mesozoic, and Cenozoic successions. Although onshore exposures of West Greenland and on Bylot Island provide accessible analogues for sedimentary accumulations preserved in the offshore shelf basins, correlations with offshore sequences are not sufficiently understood. New advances in biostratigraphy, detrital zircon provenance analysis, and seismic stratigraphic analysis are improving understanding of both onshore and offshore successions, and their petroleum potential. Five new petroleum exploration licenses were awarded in late 2010. Over the past few years there have been significant data acquisitions projects including 2D seismic, 3D seismic and stratigraphic coring. This session welcomes contributes that enhance understanding of petroleum geosience and resource potential of the Baffin Bay region.
Central Arctic oceanic basins and ridges
The central Arctic Ocean is dominated by three almost 1800 km long ridge systems. The youngest one, Gakkel Ridge, is an active mid-ocean ridge, which started to form in early Cenozoic times and created since then the Amundsen and Nansen basins at ultraslow spreading rates. The same geological process separated a continental sliver, the Lomonosov Ridge, from the Siberian shelves. The Lomonosov Ridge was part of the rifted continental margins around the Amerasia Basin, which formed during Mesozoic times. Here, the geological most enigmatic features, the Alpha and Mendeleev ridges as well as the Canada Basin, are located. Since both ridges and the Canada Basin are located in an area of the Arctic, which formerly was covered by heavy sea ice, little to no geoscientific data exist to constrain their age and evolution. The massive sea ice retreat in the last decade, however, allowed to gather a substantial amount of geological and geophysical data. Furthermore, the sediments on top of these ridges are a long-time archive to understand the environmental and geological history of the Arctic Ocean.
In this session we like to invite any contribution providing new geological/geophysical data/interpretations on the evolution of the Arctic ridges and basins on their geological evolution.
Inquiries can be sent to:
Wilfried Jokat – Alfred Wegener Institute
Arctic Petroleum Systems
The Arctic represents the final frontier for conventional petroleum exploration and production. Proterozoic to Cenozoic potential source rocks have been identified in the Arctic but most of the discovered petroleum has been linked to Devonian, Triassic and Jurassic sources in the better understood areas with petroleum production. However, vast areas in the Arctic Ocean are unexplored and much remains to be learned about the essential elements and processes involved in the petroleum systems of this geologically diverse region. Some of the known complicating factors include multiple charging and mixing of petroleum from different sources, trap leakage, biodegradation, and lack of seal and/or reservoir. This session welcomes contributions on various aspects of petroleum systems (e.g., petroleum source rocks, traps, thermal history, etc.) based on drilling, geophysical, and outcrop data that will help guide future Arctic exploration and production activities.
Inquiries can be sent to:
Dale Issler – Geological Survey of Canada
Integrated subsurface studies
The Arctic is perhaps the most challenging exploration frontier. Exploration efforts are difficult owing to sparse geological data, a result of remoteness of most Arctic regions and a harsh climate. Seismic, arguably the most fundamental data set for hydrocarbon exploration, is particularly difficult and costly to acquire because of ice cover. In fact, acquisition of 2D seismic data is impossible in certain locations, not to mention 3D data. In order to compensate for the sparse data coverage, the Arctic explorer must integrate a variety of data types and interpret these with innovative methods. Bathymetry, gravity, and magnetic data do generally exist however, and can be utilized in various ways together with existing seismic data, outcrop data, and understanding of conjugate areas from plate reconstructions. The aim of this session is to attract papers describing cases and methods of such data integration.
New constraints and advances in Arctic plate reconstructions
Early plate kinematic models of the Arctic were necessarily generalised as they were based on sparse and unevenly distributed data, which led to conflicting hypotheses. However the recent focus on the area by industry and government researchers provides us with new geological and geophysical data that can be used to enhance our understanding of Arctic plate kinematics and the timing of tectonic events. These new data, combined with advances in plate reconstruction modelling techniques, are helping us to refine Arctic plate models and reconstructions. Plate reconstructions are a powerful tool in frontier exploration and we invite papers that integrate data to provide constraints for the development of new plate tectonic models or to test and evaluate the various plate models and reconstructions for the area.
The Geologic Occurrence and Implications of Gas Hydrates in the Circum-Arctic
Numerous studies have shown that the amount of methane stored as gas hydrates in the world may exceed the volume of other known organic carbon sources. However, gas hydrates represent both a scientific and technical challenge and much remains to be learned about their characteristics and occurrence in nature. A growing number of field research projects, laboratory and modeling studies have contributed greatly to our understanding of gas hydrates in nature and will continue to be a critical source of the information needed to advance our understanding of gas hydrates. This session invites contributions that deal with understanding the geologic occurrence and controls on gas hydrate in the Circum-Arctic and their potential role as an energy resource, a geohazard, and as an agent of global climate change.
Student Poster Competition
With the success of 2013 edition, the 3P Arctic Student Poster Competition will be taking place once again in Stavanger this year. Only 30 posters will be accepted, so please review the guidelines and submit your abstract by 29th May 2015.
Please find the full information for entering on the Student Poster Competition webpage.
Inquiries can be sent to:
Snorre Olaussen – University Centre in Svalbard