Geology and Assessment of Undiscovered Oil and Gas Resources of the Vilkitskii Basin Province, 2008

Professional Paper 1824-Z
By: , and 
Edited by: Thomas E. Moore and Donald L. Gautier



The Vilkitskii Basin is a separate petroleum province that lies beneath the continental shelf of the East Siberian Sea east of the New Siberian Islands and northwest of Wrangel Island. It is a basin known only on the basis of gravity data and three seismic profiles. A small, southern part of the basin overlies the Brooks Range–Chukotka late Mesozoic-early Paleogene orogenic belt, but most of the basin lies north of that belt. Its regional setting suggests that it may have similarities to other post-orogenic (successor) basins on the East Siberian Shelf as well as to foreland, rift-sag, and passive margin basins lying north of the orogenic belt such as the North Slope, North Chukchi and Podvodnikov Basins.

Although the basin’s petroleum potential is poorly known, extremely thick sediments, diapiric structures, and gas plumes interpreted from a seismic profile are considered favorable features for petroleum presence and imply that there may be an active petroleum system. An overall probability of about 30 percent of at least one petroleum accumulation >50 MMBOE (million barrels of oil equivalent) was determined based on estimated probabilities of the occurrence of petroleum source, adequate reservoir, trap and seal, and favorable timing. A single assessment unit (AU) was defined and assessed, resulting in mean estimates of undiscovered, technically recoverable resources that include about 100 million barrels of oil and 5,500 billion cubic feet of nonassociated gas.

Suggested Citation

Bird, K.J., Houseknecht, D.W., and Pitman, J.K., 2019, Geology and assessment of undiscovered oil and gas resources of the Vilkitskii Basin Province, 2008, chap. Z of Moore, T.E., and Gautier, D.L., eds., The 2008 Circum-Arctic Resource Appraisal: U.S. Geological Survey Professional Paper 1824, 12 p.,

ISSN: 2330-7102 (online)

Study Area

Table of Contents

  • Abstract
  • Introduction
  • Geologic Setting and Stratigraphy
  • Petroleum Systems
  • Vilkitskii Basin Assessment Unit
  • Results
  • Acknowledgments
  • References Cited
Publication type Report
Publication Subtype USGS Numbered Series
Title Geology and assessment of undiscovered oil and gas resources of the Vilkitskii Basin Province, 2008
Series title Professional Paper
Series number 1824
Chapter Z
DOI 10.3133/pp1824Z
Year Published 2019
Language English
Publisher U.S. Geological Survey
Publisher location Reston, VA
Contributing office(s) Energy Resources Program
Description Document: vi, 11 p.; Larger Work; Appendix
Other Geospatial Vilkitskii Basin
Online Only (Y/N) Y
Additional Online Files (Y/N) Y
Google Analytic Metrics Metrics page
Additional publication details