Southern North Sea Gas Fields
The Barque Field is associated with some of the earliest gas discoveries in the southern North Sea. In the Sole Pit area the reservoir, the Rotliegend Group Leman Sandstone Formation of Lower Permian age, occurs between Carboniferous Coal Measures, which source the gas, and Zechstein evaporites which form an excellent seal. Primarily aeolian, the sandstone has generally very low permeability resulting from deep burial of the Sole Pit Trough. The deepest burial and hence the maximum diagenetic damage to the reservoir was achieved in the early Late Cretaceous prior to two phases of inversion in Late Cretaceous and Mid-Tertiary.
Compaction and diagenesis reduced reservoir permeability to such an extent that parts of the field would be non-productive were it not for the presence of effective natural fracture zones and well stimulation by hydraulic fracturing techniques. Though appraisal and evaluation have been relatively extensive, remaining uncertainties dictated a conservative development in conjunction with the adjacent Clipper Field. A selected initial area was developed for first gas in October 1990. Good reservoir performance from horizontal wells led to later development of the whole field.