A seismic refraction line crossing the Lincoln Sea was acquired in 2006. It proves the existence of a deep sedimentary basin underlying the Lincoln Sea. This basin appears to be comparable in width and depth to the Sverdrup Basin of the Canadian Arctic Islands. The stratigraphy of the Lincoln Sea Basin is modelled in analogy to the Sverdrup Basin and the Central Spitsbergen Basin, two basins between which the Lincoln Sea intervened before the onset of seafloor spreading in the Eurasian Basin. The refraction data indicates that the Lincoln Sea Basin is capped by a kilometre-thick, low-velocity layer, which is taken to indicate an uplift history similar to, or even more favourable than, the fairway part of the Sverdrup Basin. Tectonic activity in the Palaeogene is likely to constitute the major basin scale risk. We conclude that the Lincoln Sea Basin is likely to be petroliferous and contains risked resources on the order of 1 ?? 109 barrels of oil, to which comes an equivalent amount of (associated and nonassociated) gas. ?? 2011 The Geological Society of London.