ABSTRACT

Understanding the factors controlling the development of accommodation above collapsing salt diapirs and their influence on reservoir distribution is critical in reducing exploration risk in salt-influenced sedimentary basins. In this study, we use an integrated subsurface data set (three-dimensional and two-dimensional seismic reflection, wire-line-log, core, and biostratigraphic data) from the Upper Jurassic of the Cod terrace, Norwegian North Sea, to understand the influence of rifting on accommodation creation and shallow-marine deposition during the initial-stage collapse of salt diapirs. We demonstrate that rifting resulted in the rise and fall of salt diapirs, and the formation of supra-diapir minibasin-style depocenters that became sites for deposition and preservation of up to 500 m (1640 ft) thick net-transgressive shallow-marine sandstone reservoirs. Maximum thickness is recorded in the axis of minibasins with a reduction in thickness of up to 65% noted on their flanks. The stratigraphic architecture of individual minibasins is variable. Proximal-to-distal facies variations from shoreface to offshore shelf and commensurate changes in reservoir quality occur over scales larger than individual minibasins. These deposits contain large sand volumes, and are not confined to areas of localized sandstone subcrop. In combination, these features suggest that the minibasins formed a linked network supplied by regional sediment-routing systems. The results of this study provide a new tectono-stratigraphic model for prediction of reservoir presence, thickness, and continuity in diapir-collapse minibasins along salt walls in the Central North Sea, and in other less mature, data-poor basins where reservoirs have been identified in depocenters above salt walls.

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