Petroleum Geology: From Mature Basins to New Frontiers – Proceedings of the 7th Petroleum Geology Conference
‘The Proceedings of the 7th Petroleum Geology Conference is the seventh in a series that has become a tradition known as the ‘Barbican’ conferences. They started life over 35 years ago, in 1974, with a focus solely on North-West Europe, and have a reputation, both from the conferences and the accompanying Proceedings volumes, of being at the forefront of petroleum geoscience; the standard reference for successive generations of petroleum geoscientists.
North-West Europe has matured as a petroleum province and, at the same time, the conference series has matured to be a truly global event.
These Proceedings embrace many of the world’s petroleum provinces in a two-volume set. There are sections on Europe, which still provides the heart of the Proceedings; Russia, the former Soviet Union and Circum-Artic; North Africa and the Middle East; Passive Margins; and Unconventional Hydrocarbon Resources.
In addition, the three Geocontroversies debates, highly acclaimed at the conference, are included, as is a summary of the Core Workshop. A DVD complements the books and, in addition to providing electronic versions of all the papers also includes selected posters and video clips from the Virtual Field Trip session; the latter being a major success at the conference. The Proceedings volumes of this seventh conference are therefore a ‘must’ for every petroleum geoscientist’s bookshelf.
Passive margins: overview
Published:January 01, 2010
B. Levell, J. Argent, A. G. Doré, S. Fraser, 2010. "Passive margins: overview", Petroleum Geology: From Mature Basins to New Frontiers – Proceedings of the 7th Petroleum Geology Conference, B. A. Vining, S. C. Pickering
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Passive margins have been the reliable, accessible mainstay of exploration success worldwide for the last 25 years, and have hosted the spectacularly fast exploitation of deepwater resources (Angola, Nigeria, Brazil, Trinidad, USA Gulf of Mexico, Egypt, Australia and India). Despite, or perhaps because of this, there is still much to learn about the variety of hydrocarbon habitats they present.
For example: (1) deep seismic observations and deep sea drilling have revealed more of the diversity of passive margins geodynamics. This liberates explorationists from simple geodynamic models, with consequences not only for new views of thermal history but also for the whole tectonic and stratigraphic evolution. For example, the time significance assigned to the geometries traditionally labelled ‘pre-rift, syn-rift and sag’ may be misleading. This has implications for correlations, the significance assigned to unconformities and sequence boundaries, heat flow and structural history. (2) New deep imaging of the sedimentary sections has revealed mistaken assumptions about the importance of ‘mobile substrate’ in major deltas and allowed the detailed unravelling of salt and shale movement and its implications for reservoir and trap. (3) Depositional models for deepwater reservoirs have increased in predictive capability and modern seismic imaging supports new models for shallow water sequences. (4) Discoveries of very large amounts of dry bacterial methane in stratigraphic traps have challenged old assumptions about prospectivity based on thermally matured source rocks. (5) New engineering and development technologies are opening up the commercialization of remote frontiers. As a consequence there is legitimate scope to re-visit old ‘dogmas’ and to propose that each passive margin segment is best regarded as unique, with analysis and interpretation rooted in observation rather than models (at least while the newly proposed models evolve to stability). Many of these themes were visited in the Passive Margins session of the Seventh Petroleum Geology Conference, held in London in 2009. This paper outlines some of these ideas, and considers how exploration along passive margins in the next decade can use new geoscience thinking.
- Atlantic Ocean
- Central Africa
- deep drilling
- deep seismic sounding
- deep-water environment
- Gulf of Mexico
- heat flow
- Indian Peninsula
- natural gas
- North Africa
- North Atlantic
- passive margins
- petroleum exploration
- plate tectonics
- reservoir properties
- South America
- structural traps
- West Africa
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