Abstract

Block 35/1 with the dry Sturlason structure, is located on the northernmost part of the Marflo Ridge in the Norwegian part of the Northern North Sea. It is separated by deep faults from the Sogn Graben to the east and the Marulk Basin to the west. The 35/1-1 well proved only minor shows of gas and oil in the well.

The Sturlason structure comprises a series of upthrown fault blocks in a structurally complex area. The well-established Brent Formation carrier and reservoir sandstone has shaled out this far north and the stratigraphically deeper Lower Jurassic Statfjord Formation and Triassic Lunde Formation sandstones were, in the exploration model, suggested as both carrier beds and reservoirs. The prolific Upper Jurassic Draupne (Type II organic matter, OM) and Heather (Type II/III OM) Formation source rocks were, based on seismic data, interpreted to be absent or thin over the prospect, thus implying lateral migration for filling the structure with petroleum. Structural back-stripping suggests that part of Block 35/1 was sub-aerially exposed as an island during deposition of the Upper Jurassic source rocks. This may have impacted the quality and nature of the fringing organic material due to a more oxic environment and a greater influx of Type III organic matter.

The geochemical analyses were hampered by contamination from the use of oil-based mud (C13–23 range hydrocarbons) while drilling. Despite this, traces of true indigenous C4–10 and C25+ range hydrocarbon are demonstrated. These results suggest presence of an evaporative condensate and heavy oil fraction originating from a source rock related to a hypersaline carbonate depositional environment.

A buoyancy-driven fluid flow study, without taking faults into account, shows the difficulty in charging the prospect and clearly suggests the presence of sealing faults. The latter are also substantiated by a separate fault-seal analysis. Traps in flanking areas could, however, receive petroleum. Gas is also interpreted to be present in shallower sediments over the eastern flank of the Sturlason structure.

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