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Sedimentary basins of Greenland

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Sedimentary basins of Greenland with Central Graben-Viking Graben complex of the North Sea shown at the same scale.

Fig. 1.4. Sedimentary basins of Greenland with Central Graben–Viking Graben complex of the North Sea shown at the same scale. Get pdf-file (657kB)

Total area of sedimentary basins with petroleum prospectivity exceeds 350,000 km² (135,000 square miles). Total seismic data base c. 110,000 km, but coverage uneven. Only 6 offshore wells and 1 onshore well drilled, all in West Greenland. Large areas still untested.

Onshore basins

Offshore basins

West Greenland basin (Cretaceous–Tertiary):
More than 6 km Cretaceous-Tertiary sediments overlain to the west by Lower Tertiary basalts. Extensive oil impregnation in vesicular basalts. Wet gas in marine Upper Cretaceous. Source rocks not exposed. Fluvio-deltaic and slope turbidite sandstones provide potential reservoirs.

Melville Bay basins:
Major grabens and half-grabens. More than 13 km of syn- and post-rift sediments of Cretaceous (?and earlier) to Recent age. Suggested source rocks in the Cenomanian, Turonian and Paleocene. Syn-rift sandstones likely to provide excellent reservoirs.

Jameson Land Basin, central East Greenland (Upper Palaeozoic–Mesozoic):
More than 16 km Devonian. Cretaceous syn- and post-rift sediments. High quality source rocks in Upper Carboniferous (lacustrine), Upper Permian (marine) and Lower Jurassic (lacustrine). Respective reservoirs are syn-rift fluvial Carboniferous sandstones, Upper Permian carbonate build-ups, and Lower Jurassic deltaic sandstones.

Southern West Greenland:
Rifted margin with passive margin cover; more than 8 km sediments of Early Cretaceous to Recent age. Suggested source rocks at base of Cenomanian/ Turonian–Maastrichtian mudstone unit and also in Paleocene. Syn-rift deltaic and fan sandstones are main reservoir targets.

North-East Greenland rift basins (Upper Palaeozoic–Mesozoic):
Thick Devonian-Cretaceous syn-rift sediments. Lacustrine Upper Carboniferous, marine Upper Permian, and marine Upper Jurassic oil source rocks. Several good reservoir intervals. Exhumed palaeo-oil field in mid-Jurassic sandstone.

Central East Greenland:
South of 70°N, more than 4 km of Tertiary sediments overlie Lower Tertiary basalts. North of 70°N even thicker Tertiary successions unconformably overlie faulted and tilted Upper Palaeozoic–Mesozoic sediments.

Franklinian Basin, North Greenland (Lower Palaeozoic):
Platform carbonates passing northwards into clastic trough. Lower–Middle Cambrian and Lower Silurian marginal marine source rocks. Basal Cambrian sandstone and Silurian reef reservoirs. Extensive bitumen showings.

North-East Greenland shelf:
Aeromagnetic and regional seismic data show presence of large sedimentary basins; by analogy with adjacent onshore area and the west Norwegian shelf, prolific source rocks and several reservoir intervals of Late ?Palaeozoic and Mesozoic age are anticipated. On strike with major oil province of northern North Sea. Access extremely difficult.

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Last modified: 10 March 2002 © Geological Survey of Denmark and Greenland (GEUS)
Danmarks og Grønlands Geologiske Undersøgelse (GEUS)
Ghexis Fig. 1.4