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Abstract

Much of the future hydrocarbon exploration potential in the North Sea lies in locating stratigraphic traps and discrete reservoir intervals. This study assesses the potential for Lower Cretaceous reservoirs, with particular focus on the Norwegian Central Graben and methods to identify future prospects over a wider area. Seismic interpretation and well data reveal the structure and sedimentology of the study area. Although the region was isolated from a large hinterland in the Early Cretaceous, potential local sediment sources, sediment transport routes and areas with possible reservoir development are identified. The greater Mandal High area, where Lower Cretaceous shoreface deposits and submarine fan systems are postulated, is suggested for primary focus. Similar deposits may have developed around the other exposed highs in the region, although several were drowned towards the end of the Early Cretaceous. Detailed seismic and stratigraphic analysis will be necessary to identify individual reservoir units. Since comparable settings may have occurred in the adjacent South Viking Graben and Southern Permian Basin regions during the Early Cretaceous, further reservoir assessment is recommended for the North Sea in general.

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