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Book Chapter

Fold–thrust belts: overlooked provinces or justifiably avoided?

By
Graham P. Goffey
Graham P. Goffey
1
PA Resources UK Limited
,
Waterfront, Winslow Road, Hammersmith
,
London W6 9SF
,
UK
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Jonathan Craig
Jonathan Craig
2
Eni Exploration & Production Division
,
via Emilia 1, 20079 San Donato Milanese, Milan
,
Italy
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Tim Needham
Tim Needham
3
Needham Geoscience Limited
,
Lynnthorpe, 4 Easby Drive, Ilkley LS29 9BE
,
UK
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Robert Scott
Robert Scott
4
CASP
,
West Building, 181A Huntingdon Road, Cambridge, CB3 0DH
,
UK
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Published:
January 01, 2010

Abstract

This volume results from a conference intended to assess the exploration and exploitation primarily of onshore fold–thrust belts. These are commonly perceived as ‘difficult’ places to explore and therefore are often avoided by companies. However, fold–thrust belts host large oil and gas fields and barriers to effective exploration mean that substantial resources may remain.

This volume shows how evaluation techniques have developed over time. It is possible in certain circumstances to achieve good 3D seismic data. Structural restoration techniques have moved into the 3D domain and simple thermal constraints can be enhanced by using more sophisticated palaeo-thermal indicators to more accurately model burial and uplift evolution of source and reservoirs. Awareness of the influence of pre-thrust structure and stratigraphy and of hybrid thick and thin-skinned deformation styles is supplementing the simplistic thin-skinned fault-bend and fault propagation models employed in earlier exploration.

The ‘learning curve’ in fold–thrust belt exploration has not been steep and further improvement seems likely to be a slow, expensive and iterative process with information from outcrop, well penetration and slowly improving seismic data. Industry and academia need together to develop and continually improve the necessary understanding of subsurface geometries, reservoir and charge evolution and timing.

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Contents

Geological Society, London, Special Publications

Hydrocarbons in Contractional Belts

G. P. Goffey
G. P. Goffey
PA Resources UK Ltd, UK
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J. Craig
J. Craig
Eni Exploration and Production Division, Italy
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T. Needham
T. Needham
Needham Geoscience Ltd, UK
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R. Scott
R. Scott
CASP, University of Cambridge, UK
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Geological Society of London
Volume
348
ISBN electronic:
9781862395961
Publication date:
January 01, 2010

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