Polyphase tectonic inversion and its role in controlling hydrocarbon prospectivity in the Greater East Shetland Platform and Mid North Sea High, UK
Published:January 01, 2019
Stefano Patruno, William Reid, Christian Berndt, Laurent Feuilleaubois, 2019. "Polyphase tectonic inversion and its role in controlling hydrocarbon prospectivity in the Greater East Shetland Platform and Mid North Sea High, UK", Paleozoic Plays of NW Europe, A. A. Monaghan, J.R. Underhill, A.J. Hewett, J.E.A. Marshall
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Thick Paleozoic successions are buried under the Greater East Shetland Platform (ESP) and Mid North Sea High (MNSH), two large underexplored platform regions flanking the structural depocentres of the North Sea. Here, newly acquired broadband seismic data are interpreted to provide a novel assessment of the regional tectonostratigraphic evolution and its influence on hydrocarbon prospectivity. Numerous working reservoir units are present over these two frontier areas, together with large Paleozoic traps. Hydrocarbon charge occurs either via a likely maximum 30–40 km lateral migration from the Jurassic/Carboniferous basinal source kitchens or, possibly, via vertical/lateral migration from deeper Devono-Carboniferous source intervals. The two regions underwent a largely similar evolution, consisting of at least eight successive switch-overs between regional compression/uplift and extension/subsidence in the last 420 myr. However, on the Greater MNSH, the lack of significant Permo-Triassic rifting probably resulted in too little subsidence for the lower Carboniferous interval to reach sufficient burial depth for gas maturation. Seep and fluid escape data suggest a working ‘deep’ source in the Greater ESP. Here, the presence of localized Permo-Triassic intra-platform grabens and half-grabens provided sufficient subsidence for the oil-prone middle Devonian unit to eventually enter the oil maturation window and faults provide easy conduits for the upwards migration of oil.
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Paleozoic Plays of NW Europe
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Despite successful production from Carboniferous and Permian reservoirs in the southern North Sea and onshore Netherlands and Germany, Paleozoic hydrocarbon plays across parts of NW Europe remain relatively under-explored both onshore and offshore. This volume brings together new and previously unpublished knowledge about the Paleozoic plays of NW Europe to describe significant additional exploration opportunities outside and below existing plays.
The volume contains papers on Paleozoic plays in the North Sea, Irish Sea, onshore UK, France and Switzerland. They highlight how improvements in seismic data quality and the availability of previously unpublished well datasets form the basis for improved understanding of local to regional interpretations that move forward from generalized basin development models. The improved structural trap and source rock basin definition feeds to better constrained, locally variable burial, uplift, maturation and migration models. Particularly notable are the significant mapped extents and thickness of Paleozoic source, reservoir and seal rocks in areas previously dismissed as regional highs and platforms.