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The Dunbar, Ellon and Grant Fields (Alwyn South Area), Blocks 3/8a, 3/9b, 3/13a, 3/14, 3/15, UK North Sea

J. S. Ritchie
J. S. Ritchie
Total Fina Elf Exploration UK PLC, Crawpeel Road, Altens, Aberdeen AB12 3FG, UK, (e-mail:
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January 01, 2003


The Dunbar, Ellon and Grant oil and gas fields (also known as the Alwyn South area) are located in the southeastern part of the East Shetland Basin, approximately 140 km E of the Shetland Islands. Most of the accumulations lie in Blocks 3/9, 3/14 and 3/15, which are parts of Licence P090 operated by Total Oil Marine plc (33.33%) with Elf Exploration UK PLC as sole partner (66.67%). Ellon was discovered in 1972, Dunbar in 1973 and Grant in 1977. Dunbar consists of a number of generally N-S trending, westerly dipping Mesozoic fault blocks with variable amounts of crestal erosion. Reservoir is provided by fluvial, deltaic and shallow marine sandstones of the Middle Jurassic Brent Group, Lower Jurassic Statfjord Formation and Upper Triassic Upper Lunde Formation. The Brent oil composition of Dunbar varies with depth and evolves from volatile oil at the base of the column to gas condensate at the top without a discontinuity of composition. In addition there is a small gas accumulation within a Paleocene submarine fan reservoir in a compactional structure.

Ellon consists of two westerly dipping fault blocks with gas condensate contained within the Brent Group. Grant is one westerly dipping fault block with gas condensate in the Brent Group. In both the Ellon panels and also in Grant, thin waxy oil ‘rims’ are found below the gas. The depth of the shallowest structural crest within the Alwyn South complex is 3100m TVDSS, with the deepest proven hydrocarbon at around 3800m TVDSS. Sealing for the Alwyn South accumulations is provided by various combinations of Cretaceous, Upper Jurassic (Heather and Kimmeridge Clay Formations) and Lower Jurassic (Dunlin Group) mudstones. The source rock for the hydrocarbons is the Upper Jurassic Kimmeridge Clay Formation, which is mature and adjacent to the fields.

These accumulations are being developed from a tender-assisted minimally manned fixed platform with a total of 28 well slots located over the Dunbar Field, in a water depth of 145 m. The Ellon and Grant Fields are produced as sub-sea satellites to Dunbar from a well-head cluster located between Ellon and Grant, in a water depth of 135 m. First oil and gas production from Dunbar and Ellon was in December 1994 and gas production commenced from Grant in July 1998. The time lag between discovery and development reflects the complex geology (structure, compartmentalization, reservoir thickness variations, diagenesis and differing hydrocarbon compositions) with a total of 28 exploration and appraisal wells being drilled in the Alwyn South area between 1971 and 1998. Total oil and gas initially in place is in the order of 850 MMBBL and 2.62 TCF respectively, with the current estimate for ultimate recoverable reserves being 200 MMBBL liquids and 1.28 TCF gas.

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Figures & Tables


Geological Society, London, Memoirs

United Kingdom Oil and Gas Fields Commemorative Millennium Volume

J. G. Gluyas
J. G. Gluyas
Acorn Oil Gas Ltd, Staines, Middlesex, UK
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H. M. Hichens
H. M. Hichens
Oil and Gas Directorate, London, UK
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Geological Society of London
ISBN electronic:
Publication date:
January 01, 2003




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