While the basin ranks highly from a geological and hydrocarbon prospectivity perspective, the headwinds derive mostly from the volatility of the State's approach to the sector. Recent changes have been positive, but merely partially offset the damage inflicted by previous changes.
September 21, 2021
Americas - North
The North Slope of Alaska is a foreland basin formed in the Mesozoic and Cenozoic in response to crustal loading by the Brooks Range, an orogenic belt produced by collision of the continental Arctic Alaska plate with an island arc. The foreland basin developed on an older passive margin sequence composed of Mississippian to Cretaceous clastic and carbonate rocks. Cross sections have demonstrated the characteristic structural and stratigraphical relations. The paleogeography during formation of the passive margin consisted of a land mass to the north and the open ocean to the south in present-day coordinates. Land and sea relations were reversed during foreland basin development with the orogenic ancestral Brooks Range highlands in the south and the marine basin to the north.
The basin has, historically, been subject to significant development, but its size means that there remains significant prospectivity and opportunity, if somewhat offset by the State approach to oil & gas.
Source: ESRI, BGS, USGS & OGA data
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