The occurrence and distribution of hydrocarbons in an area from the Arctic to Mediterranean, and Eastern Greenland to the Urals, are considered. They are shown to be intimately linked to the sequencing of repeated phases of crustal accretion and associated compressional basin-forming deformation followed by crustal extension and associated basin formation around the Proterozoic Baltic Craton. These areas of deformed crust are the foundations on which the region's principal source rocks are deposited, preserved or are later fragmented and destroyed. We illustrate the plate tectonic evolution of this region through time, which controls the present day distribution of the region's hydrocarbon plays. Four first order time intervals are considered from the Lower Palaeozoic, Upper Palaeozoic, Mesozoic and Tertiary. The key crustal accretive and deformational (basin forming) events are considered along with principal mature source rock occurrences.


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