Ignorer kommandoer på båndet
Gå til hovedindhold
Naviger op
Log på
> Forsiden > Arkiv > GHEXIS > Exploration History

Exploration History

Ghexis logo

Exploration History

*
Recent exploration in West Greenland
*

2005
Licence awarded to EnCana and Nunaoil in the Lady Franklin Basin
2004
Licensing round offshore West Greenland.
2003
Extensive acquisition of seismic data and sea bed sampling programme. Preparations for the 2004 licensing round.
2002
Licensing Round offshore West Greenland and new seismic surveys
Licence awarded to EnCana.
2000-2001
Drilling of exploration well in the Fylla Licence; more speculative seismic surveys; seismic acquisition in northern Baffin Bay
1999
New petroleum licensing policy for Greenland; more speculative seismic surveys
1997-98
Sisimiut West licence signed; Nuussuaq licence relinquished; further seismic acquisition
1994-96
Licences in the Fylla area and onshore Nuussuaq
1992-94
Licensing rounds and open-door policy
1990-93
New seismic surveys offshore and field work onshore West Greenland

1990-96
KANUMAS-project offshore North-East and North-West Greenland
(including follow-up in 2000)

1984-90
Jameson Land, onshore Greenland

1984-1987
Nordolie project, North Greenland

1978-82
NAD-project, offshore East Greenland

1970-78
Early exploration offshore West Greenland

* *

West Greenland
Early Exploration: 1970–78

Petroleum exploration in areas offshore West Greenland owes its beginnings in part to the dramatic rise in oil prices in the early 1970s. During this period, comprehensive seismic surveys were carried out, and almost 21,000 line km of reflection seismic data were acquired. In 1975, 6 groups headed by Amoco, Chevron, ARCO, Mobil, Total, and Ultramar were granted licences, and a further 16,000 km of seismic data were collected (Fig. 6.1). In 1976 and 1977, 5 exploratory wells were drilled (Figs 6.2 and 6.3; Hellefisk-1, Ikermiut-1, Kangâmiut-1, Nukik-1, and Nukik-2). Exploration was discontinued in late 1978. All the wells were declared dry by the operators but re-investigations of the well data in 1997 by the Geological Survey of Denmark and Greenland (GEUS) suggested a hydrocarbon discovery in the Kângamiut-1 well.

Top 

 

Licences granted in the mid 70s. Click to enlarge
Fig. 6.1. Licences granted in the mid 70s

Kangâmiut-1 well drilled by ‘Pelican‘ in 1976.
 Click to enlarge
Fig. 6.2 Kangâmiut-1 well drilled by ‘Pelican‘ in 1976.

'Sedco 709' drilling one of the Nukik wells. Click to enlarge
Fig. 6.3. 'Sedco 709' drilling one of the Nukik wells.

Recent Exploration: 1990 to Present Day

1990–93: New seismic surveys offshore and field work onshore West Greenland

Re-interpretation of older seismic data and re-evaluation of the wells suffested that the areas offshore West Greenland had been abandoned prematurely. A new investigation of the continental margin suggested that the extent of Mesozoic sedimentary basins was much greater than previously believed. 6638 km of government funded seismic data were acquired in 1990–92 by the Geological Survey of Greenland (now GEUS). A speculative seismic survey of 1915 km was also carried out by Halliburton Geophysical Services Inc (now Baker Hughes/Western Geophysical) in 1990. Evaluation of these data led to a new appreceation of the structure and extent of the basins.

Petroleum geological studies of Cretaceous–Tertiary sediments were initiated by the Geological Survey in 1990 in the Nuussuaq region. In 1992, these studies for the first time demonstrated the presence of seeping oil in the region. This led to the drilling of the Marraat-1 hole in 1993, which demonstrated intense bleeding of oil from cores of volcanic rocks.

Top 

 

1992–94: Licensing rounds and open-door policy

A licensing round for areas offshore West Greenland south of 66°N was held in 1992–-93. However, no applications were submitted and, as a consequence, an open-door policy for both onshore and offshore areas south of 70°30'N in West Greenland and for Jameson Land in East Greenland was introduced in 1994.

Top 

 

1994–96: Licences in the Fylla area and onshore Nuussuaq

Very large, tilted fault blocks with seismic anomalies in the form of cross-cutting reflectors (CCR's) were discovered by the Survey in early 1993 on one of the 1992 seismic lines west of Nuuk (the Fylla area). This led Nunaoil to acquire 1706 km of seismic data on a speculative basis in a 10×15-km grid over the Fylla area. The data confirmed the existence of the CCR's. Following a very positive repsonse to the Fylla data a licence covering 9487 km² was awarded  in 1996 to a consortium consisiting of Statoil (operator), Phillips Petroleum, Dansk Olie og Naturgas (DONG) and Nunaoil (as carried partner)

In the Disko–Nuussuaq–Svartenhuk Halvø region, the Geological Survey continued its petroleum geological investigations. As part of these investigations, 2 combined reflection and refraction seismic lines were acquired on the southern coast of Nuussuaq (13 km) and on Svartenhuk Halvø (11.5 km). On Nuussuaq, a very thick sedimentary succession (up to 8 km) was recognised. GrønArctic Energy, a junior Canadian company, showed their first interest in Nuussuaq by drilling the 800-m-deep slim-core hole GANW#1 under a prospecting license.

The positive results during the previous years encouraged the Government of Greenland and the Danish State to provide further funding for projects related to petroleum exploration. During the summer of 1995, GEUS acquired a total of 3745 km of seismic data, for the most part in the region around Disko and Nuussuaq and farther south around the Kângamiut-1 well. GEUS also drilled a 1200-m-deep stratigraphic slim-core hole on Svartenhuk Halvø (Umiivik-1).

In May 1995, onshore exclusive exploration licenses on Nuussuaq and Disko were granted to a group consisting of grønArctic Energy Inc of Calgary, Canada (operator) and the Greenland-based company Platinova A/S. Three slim-holes were cored to depths between 400 and 900 m (GANT#1, GANE#1 and GANK #1).

In 1996 grønArctic continued their exploration in the Disko-Nuussuaq region. An airborne geophysical survey was compled and GRO#3, a 2996 m deep exploration well, was drilled on southern Nuussuaq (Fig. 6.4). The well was declared dry. However, later quantitative log-interpretation by GEUS of the upper part of the well (which was not tested prior to casing) suggested high hydrocarbon saturations in sandstone units.

Top 

 

The GRO#3 well on southern Nuussuaq drilled by grønArctic Inc. in 1996. Click to enlarge
Fig. 6.4. The GRO#3 well on southern Nuussuaq drilled by grønArctic Inc. in 1996.

1997–98: Sisimiut West licence signed; Nuussuaq licence relinquished; Further seismic acquisition

In 1997, a further 2300 km of seismic data were acquired on a speculative basis by Nunaoil, mainly in the Hecla Rise area to the west of the Fylla area.

In the Nuussuaq basin, GEUS's  work showed that the area of known hydrocarbon seeps was extended. At least 5 distinctly different oils, generated from both Cretaceous and Tertiary source rocks, were present (see section on Source Rocks). The presence of large, rotated fault blocks were confirmed from studies of the GEUS 1995 seismic data acquired in Vaigat between Disko and Nuussuaq and in Uummanaq Fjord north of Nuussuaq.

AVO-analysis by GEUS of 1995 seismic data revealed a seismic anomaly and a bright spot in sedimentary units overlying Tertiary basalts on two seismic lines west of Disko.

Due to financing problems, grønArctic relinquished their licence in the Nuussuaq region in the spring of 1998. These onshore areas are now covered by an open-door procedure and all exploration data are open file and available from GEUS. A detailed bibliography has been compiled by GEUS comprising available papers and reports together with GEUS reports on palynology, organic geochemistry and lithological and petrophysical evaluation of the GRO#3 well.

A new licence off Sisimiut in West Greenland was signed in June 1998. The Sisimiut West licence covers an area of 4744 km² and is held by Phillips Petroleum (operator), Statoil, and DONG, with Nunaoil as carried partner in the exploration phase.

Further, 2 speculative seismic surveys were carried out. Fugro-Geoteam acquired 3098 km of data north and south of the Fylla area, while Nunaoil collected 1760 km in the region around the Sisimiut West licence.

Top 

 

1999: New petroleum licensing policy for Greenland; more speculative seismic surveys

A new petroleum licensing policy for Greenland was announced in April 1999 including a  licensing round in 2001 in the region between 63°N and 68°N and a re-establishment of the open-door policy for other areas both onshore and offshore. (GHEXIS Newsletter 15).

Seismic surveys were carried out in both the Fylla and the Sisimiut West licence areas.

TGS-NOPEC acquired 2897 km of speculative seismic data in the area designated for the 2001 licensing round.

Top 

 

2000-2001: Drilling of exploration well in the Fylla Licence; more speculative seismic surveys; relinquishment of licences

In the year 2000, the exploration well in the eastern part of the Fylla Licence (6354/4-1 or Qulleq-1) was spudded on 10 July and reached TD of 2937 m.b.s.l. on 5 September. The well was plugged and abandoned on 25 September after being declared dry (see Press Release of 11 September 2000). More details are found in GHEXIS Newsletter 18 and 19.

Seismic surveys were carried out the Sisimiut West licence area and TGS-NOPEC acquired a further 6332 km of speculative seismic data in the area designated for the 2002 Licensing Round including 3 seismic lines in Canadian waters. In Melville Bay (northernmost Baffin Bay) the BMP funded an acquisition of 1340 km of seismic data to follow up on the KANUMAS project.

A shallow seismic survey around Nuussuaq was carried out by GEUS. A total of 2740 km of data were acquired. More details are found in GHEXIS Newsletter 18. Data are available from GEUS at copying cost.

During summer of 2001 three separate seismic surveys were acquired: a regional survey, GreenCan2001 jointly by TGS-NOPEC and BMP, a survey in the northern open-door area GREEN2001 by TGS-NOPEC; and a survey Fylla2001W in the western part of the Fylla licence area by the Statoil group.

On January 15 the BMP announced that the Fylla and the Sisimiut-West licences had been relinquished as of 31 December 2001 (see Press Release of 15 January 2002).

Top 

 

Drillship West Navion operating off Greenland in 2000
Drillship West Navion operating off Greenland in 2000

West Navion moon pool
West Navion moon pool

2002: Licensing Round offshore West Greenland and new seismic surveys

The Licensing Round 2002 offshore West Greenland was announced on meetings in Copenhagen and Houston in April with an application deadline on 16 July. In October, EnCana - a major Canadian company - was granted an eploration and exploitation licence covering 3985 sq. km. in the Nuuk Basin (see Press Release of 8 October 2002).

Four seismic surveys offshore West Greenland were completed during 2002 (see Ghexis 21)

Top 

 
2003: Extensive acquisition of seismic data, sea bed sampling programme and preparations for 2004 Licensing Round

A new licensing round offshore West Greenland in 2004 was announced (see Press Release of 30 June 2003) with Opening Meetings in April 2004 and a deadline for applications on 1 October 2004. A major sea bed sampling programme - mainly sponsored by BMP - was carried out on selected locations offshore West Greenland and nearly 9000 km of seismic data were acquired offshore West and South Greenland.

Analysis of age-specific biomarkers in oils from West Greenland seeps suggested the presence of Cenomanian–Turonian and/or Jurassic oils (see Ghexis 22).

Top 

 
West Navion moon pool
Sea bed sampling programme 2003
2004: Licensing Round: Opening Meetings in Copenhagen and Houston

The 2004 Licensing Round was opened on 1 April in Copenhagen and 5 April in Houston with participation of all major industry players. Four areas with major leads were offered for licensing. Deadline for applications are 1 October 2004 (see Ghexis 23).

Arctic Petroleum Assessement Conference and Excursion held in Ilulissat (Disko-Nuussuaq area, West Greenland) in July. Read AAPG Explorer.

Major sea bed sampling programme carried out offshore West Greenland in August .

Top 

 
2005: Exploration and exploitation licence granted in the Lady Franklin Basin

As a result of the 2004 Licensing Round, EnCana and Nunaoil were granted and exploration and exploitation licence in the Lady Franklin Basin in the Davis Strait (see Press Release of 20 January 2005).

Top 

 

The NAD Project, Offshore East Greenland: 1978–82

After the discovery of the giant oil fields in the northern North Sea, attention was directed to areas offshore East Greenland. In 1978, the Danish government funded an aeromagnetic survey covering a major part of the East Greenland shelf (63,219 km). In the following year, funding was granted by the European Community to expand the project to include a marine geophysical survey (7793 km of seismic data, mainly south of 72°N), and the entire programme was named the NAD Project (Fig. 6.5).

NAD data are available from GEUS at copying cost.

Top 

 


Seismic data acquired during the NAD project. Click to enlarge
Fig. 6.5. Seismic data acquired during the NAD project.


North Greenland, Survey studies: 1984-87

During 1984 and 1985 the Geological Survey of Greenland carried out a major mapping programme in North Greenland which included a detailed study of the distribution and thermal maturity of potential hydrocarbon source rocks - the Nordolie project. Results from this work were published in 1989 in a Survey bulletin.

Top

 

Jameson Land, East Greenland: 1984-90

A group headed by ARCO was granted an exploration licence in Jameson Land, East Greenland, in 1984, just prior to the major 1986 fall in oil prices. Agip joined the group in 1988. In total, 1800 km of seismic data were acquired (Fig. 6.6). The area was, however, relinquished in 1990 without the drilling of an exploration well.

All data from Jameson Land are open file and available from GEUS at cost of copying.

Top 

 

Seismic data acquired by ARCO in Jameson Land. Now open file. Click to enlarge
Fig. 6.6. Seismic data acquired by ARCO in Jameson Land. Now open file.

North-East and North-West Greenland

The KANUMAS Project: 1990–96 The Kalaallit Nunaat Marine Seismic (KANUMAS) project was a seismic reconnaissance survey in the extreme northern frontier areas offshore eastern and western Greenland. The project was financed by 6 major oil companies (BP, Exxon, Japan National Oil Company, Shell, Statoil, and Texaco), with Nunaoil as carried partner and operator.

In all, 4071 km of seismic data were acquired offshore North-West Greenland, 5637 km off North-East Greenland, and 1323 km off central East Greenland. The KANUMAS group holds a preferential exploration position in the areas covered by the seismic surveys (Fig. 6.7).  

Seismic data from the KANUMAS surveys are available for sale – contact Nunaoil for further information.

BMP seismic acquisition in Baffin Bay: 2000

During summer 2000, BMP funded the acquisition of 1340 km of seismic data in northern Baffin Bay. The data are available for sale – contact GEUS for further information.

Top 

 


Seismic data acquired by the KANUMAS Group. Click to enlarge
Fig. 6.7. Seismic data acquired by the KANUMAS Group.



*
Back to GHEXIS Online 
*

Last modified: 1 February 2005 © Geological Survey of Denmark and Greenland (GEUS)
Danmarks og Grønlands Geologiske Undersøgelse (GEUS)
Exploration History