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A review is presented of the progress of exploration for, and development of, gas fields in the Carboniferous of the UK Southern North Sea in the period since the first significant discoveries were made in 1984. The outcomes of such exploration have generally failed to live up to high initial expectations and exploration targeting of the Carboniferous has declined, the objective having come to be seen by many as difficult and risky. This review includes a summary of the published consensus regarding elements of the Carboniferous petroleum system and discusses the reasons for the decline in interest, which encompass...

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