Perhaps the last great frontier of the North American continent is Greenland, the world’s largest island. The self-governing Danish province has leased concessions off its west coast, which is ice-free for about five months a year. Operators with acreage in western Greenland include ExxonMobil, Chevron, EnCana, Husky and Cairn Energy. At present, Cairn plans to begin acquiring 2-D seismic over its block. In the West Greenland and Eastern Canada petroleum province, the U.S. Geological Survey has placed undiscovered resource figures of 7.2 billion barrels of oil, 1.1 billion barrels of NGL and 51 Tcf of gas. But bigger prizes likely lie offshore Greenland’s east coast, which some liken to western Norway’s prolific offshore. The U.S.G.S. assessed the potential of Eastern Greenland’s rift basins at 8.9 billion barrels of oil, 8.1 billion barrels of NGL and 86 Tcf of gas, and ranked it has the fourth most prospective region in all of the circum-Arctic. Eastern Greenland’s offshore has an active hydrocarbon system, and geological characteristics are favorable. Workers believe its shelf could be home to the same Upper Jurassic source rocks that delivered oil to most of the North Atlantic’s considerable oilfields. Studies indicate that thermal maturity is in the correct range for oil generation; Jurassic and Devonian reservoirs are extrapolated into the area; and mudstone seals appear to be present. Additionally seismic data support the idea that North Sea-style tilted structures that occur onshore Greenland continue into its offshore. Explorers are intrigued by possible traps in large, rotated fault blocks and anticlines that have good timing for migration and accumulation. --by Peggy Williams, Senior Exploration Editor, Oil and Gas Investor email@example.com
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