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Book Chapter

Basement exploration, West of Shetlands: progress in opening a new play on the UKCS

By
Robert Trice
Robert Trice
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Published:
January 01, 2014

Abstract

Commercial production of hydrocarbon from fractured crystalline basement is well documented, with petroleum basins across the globe hosting fractured basement fields. The UK is an anomaly within this global phenomenon as, despite numerous serendipitous discoveries of basement oil in the North Sea and the West of Shetlands, there is currently no commercial field on the United Kingdom Continental Shelf (UKCS) that is reliant on oil production from fractured basement. Recognizing that this situation presented an exploration niche, Hurricane Energy plc (Hurricane) was formed to focus on UKCS basement exploration and concentrated its efforts in acquiring exploration acreage in the West of Shetlands. In 2009 Hurricane drilled the first well designed to explore the basement play on the UKCS, leading to the Lancaster Discovery with a contingent resource range (1C–3C) of 62–456 million barrels of oil equivalent (MMboe). The Lancaster Discovery is presented to summarize the challenges and processes that have been applied in the exploration and evaluation of the West of Shetlands basement play. Conclusions from this work indicate that basement hydrocarbon resource potential is of such significance that it may represent a strategic resource for the UK, with over 1154 MMboe of 2C and mean unrisked prospective resources so far identified.

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Contents

Geological Society, London, Special Publications

Hydrocarbon Exploration to Exploitation West of Shetlands

S. J. C. Cannon
S. J. C. Cannon
Statoil (UK) Ltd
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D. Ellis
D. Ellis
Statoil (UK) Ltd
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Geological Society of London
Volume
397
ISBN electronic:
9781862396739
Publication date:
January 01, 2014

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