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Challenges of future exploration within the UK Rockall Basin

By
Nick Schofield
Nick Schofield
Geology and Petroleum Geology, School of Geosciences, University of Aberdeen, Meston Building, Aberdeen AB24 3UE, UK
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David Jolley
David Jolley
Geology and Petroleum Geology, School of Geosciences, University of Aberdeen, Meston Building, Aberdeen AB24 3UE, UK
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Simon Holford
Simon Holford
Australian School of Petroleum, University of Adelaide, SA 5005, Australia
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Stuart Archer
Stuart Archer
Maersk Oil and Gas A/S, Eplandaen 50, DK-1098 Copenhagen K, Denmark
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Douglas Watson
Douglas Watson
Geology and Petroleum Geology, School of Geosciences, University of Aberdeen, Meston Building, Aberdeen AB24 3UE, UK
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Adrian Hartley
Adrian Hartley
Geology and Petroleum Geology, School of Geosciences, University of Aberdeen, Meston Building, Aberdeen AB24 3UE, UK
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John Howell
John Howell
Geology and Petroleum Geology, School of Geosciences, University of Aberdeen, Meston Building, Aberdeen AB24 3UE, UK
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David Muirhead
David Muirhead
Geology and Petroleum Geology, School of Geosciences, University of Aberdeen, Meston Building, Aberdeen AB24 3UE, UK
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John Underhill
John Underhill
School of Geographical and Earth Sciences, University of Glasgow, Gregory Building, Lilybank Gardens, Glasgow G12 8QQ, UKShell Centre for Geosciences, Heriot-Watt University, Edinburgh EH14 4AS, UK
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Paul Green
Paul Green
Geotrack International, Brunswick West, VIC 3055, Australia
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Published:
January 01, 2018

Abstract

The UK Rockall Basin is one of the most underexplored areas of the UK Continental Shelf (UKCS), with only 12 exploration wells drilled since 1980. With only one discovery made in 2000 (Benbecula (154/1-1) gas discovery), the general view of the basin from an exploration viewpoint is not positive. However, over the last 15 years, our knowledge of the petroleum systems of the Atlantic Margin has substantially increased. With the recent acquisition of new seismic data by the UK Government as part of the OGA's Frontiers Basin Research Programme, it is a pertinent time to re-examine the prospectivity of the UK Rockall Basin.

This paper presents a history of exploration within the UK Rockall Basin, from the first well drilled in the basin in 1980, to the last well, drilled in 2006. We then present new insights into the lack of success during exploration within the basin, in particular by focusing on the extensive Early Cenozoic volcanic rocks within Rockall, to illustrate the wide range of potential interactions with the petroleum system. We also present evidence that points to the potential of a viable intra-basaltic (Rosebank) type play along the eastern flank of the Rockall Basin.

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Contents

Geological Society, London, Special Publications

Petroleum Geology of NW Europe: 50 Years of Learning – Proceedings of the 8th Petroleum Geology Conference

M. Bowman
M. Bowman
University of Manchester, UK
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B. Levell
B. Levell
University of Oxford, UK
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The Geological Society of London
Volume
8
ISBN electronic:
9781786203151
Publication date:
January 01, 2018

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