CARBONIFEROUS NON-MARINE SOURCE ROCKS FROM SPITSBERGEN AND BJØRNØYA: COMPARISON WITH THE WESTERN ARCTIC
J. H. van Koeverden1*, D. A. Karlsen1 and K. Backer-Owe1
1 Department of Geosciences, University of Oslo, PO Box 1047 Blindern, N-0316 Oslo, Norway.
* corresponding author, email: firstname.lastname@example.org now at Statoil ASA, Drammensveien 264, Vækerø, N-0246 Oslo, Norway.
In this paper, we demonstrate that Carboniferous coaly and lacustrine strata have significant liquid hydrocarbon potential in an area extending from the Norwegian Barents Sea in the east to the Canadian Arctic in the west. Organic geochemical analyses were conducted on seven coals and coaly shales from the islands of Spitsbergen (Svalbard archipelago) and Bjørnøya (Norwegian Barents Sea). The results were interpreted in the context of published data from the two areas, and of time-equivalent non-marine successions on the Finnmark Platform (Norwegian Barents Sea), East Greenland, and the Sverdrup Basin (Canadian Arctic). In each of these areas, a warm and humid climate, together with the onset of rifting on the northern Pangea margin, facilitated the deposition and preservation of organic-rich non-marine sediments on a regional scale. All of the sediments have an elevated content of liptinitic macerals, dominated by alginite or sporinite. In the studied areas, the prolific younger source rocks which may be common in adjacent regions are often immature or absent. The identification of Carboniferous terrestrial strata with source rock potential may therefore enhance the petroleum potential of the studied regions.
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