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Book Chapter

Recent Successes and Learnings from Failures

January 01, 2018


In 2011, two discoveries were drilled by PA Resources in the Danish sector. The Broder Tuck 2/2A wells were drilled on a thrusted anticlinal structure, downdip of the apparently small U-1X gas discovery. The wells found an excellent quality gas reservoir within an interpreted Callovian lowstand incised valley containing braided fluvial and marginal-marine sandstones. A top and base seal are provided by mudstones of the over- and underlying transgressive systems tracts respectively. The development of a base seal is key to the presence of a potentially commercial resource downdip of a relatively unpromising old well.

The Lille John 1/1B wells were then drilled on a salt diapir on which 1980s wells had encountered shallow oil shows. Lille John 1 found slightly biodegraded 34° API oil in Miocene sandstones at the uncommonly shallow depth of −910 m true vertical depth subsea (TVDSS). The reservoir is full to spill, whilst the trap developed intermittently through latest Miocene–Late Pleistocene times. It is interpreted that a deeper Chalk accumulation temporarily lost seal integrity owing to glacially induced stress or overpressure triggering top-seal failure or fault reactivation during and after latest Pleistocene diapir inflation. The wider hydrocarbon exploration implications of glaciation on stress, pore pressure and trap integrity appear to be underappreciated.

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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
ISBN electronic:
Publication date:
January 01, 2018




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