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DTI Strategic Environmental Assessment Area 4 (SEA4) : sub seabed geology

Hitchen, K.; Holmes, R.; Musson, R.M.W.; Cooper, R.M.; Jones, S.M.. 2003 DTI Strategic Environmental Assessment Area 4 (SEA4) : sub seabed geology. Nottingham, UK, British Geological Survey, 20pp. (CR/03/080N) (Unpublished)

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Abstract/Summary

The SEA 4 region is underlain by continental crust situated on the north-western part of the Eurasian tectonic plate. The oldest continental crust >590Ma (Pre-Cambrian) of interest to oil production, it is divided by a major fault, the Moine Thrust, into ages ranging in age from >2500Ma (Archaean) to the west in which potentially commercial hydrocarbons been discovered and 2500 - 590 Ma (Proterozoic) to the east which is not currently prospective for commerciallyproduced hydrocarbons. The <590Ma sedimentary basins and intervening highs have evolved from pre-, syn- and postdepositional responses to deformation during crustal compression and extension. Many of the modern regional crustal structures retain a NE-SW trend, inherited from events 440-410Ma year ago (Caledonian Orogeny). The results from <65Ma regional NW-SE trending deformation events are also included within the major basin structural configurations. During 60-50 Ma (Late Paleocene to Early Eocene) the region was affected by uplift and in the NW by extrusion of thick volcanic lavas and intrusion of igneous sills. Interactions between historically significant shifts of long-term global climate cooling, an increase in the short-term periodicity and intensity of global climate change and changes to the rates and orientation of crust deformation have been particularly important from 25Ma to the present day (Neogene to Quaternary). These interactions have driven global-to-local changes to basin geological structure, marine circulation, sea level and sediment supply and removal rates and have resulted in the evolutionary changes to submarine basin geometries and lithologies. The modern seabed habitat has thus resulted from the remoulding of inherited basin geometries and lithologies by the processes affecting seabed. The structural history of the region has created a wide variety of potential hydrocarbon trapping mechanisms. The 154-136Ma (Late Jurassic, Kimmeridgian to Ryazanian) Kimmeridge Clay Formation is the principal source rock of the area. The Foinaven and Schiehallion oilfields started production in late 1997 and 1998 respectively both from 60-55Ma (Upper Paleocene) sandstone reservoirs. Geological and technical problems have so far prevented the development of the massive 440-390Ma (Devono-Carboniferous) Clair Field which is the largest undeveloped oilfield on the UK continental shelf. Other hydrocarbon accumulations have been discovered in 245-208Ma (Triassic), 208-146Ma (Jurassic) and 146-65Ma (Cretaceous) intervals in the West Shetland area in the most prospective parts of the SEA 4 region.

Item Type: Publication - Report (UNSPECIFIED)
Programmes: BGS Programmes > Other
Funders/Sponsors: Department of Trade and Industry
Additional Information. Not used in RCUK Gateway to Research.: This item has been internally reviewed but not externally peer-reviewed.
Date made live: 20 Feb 2015 14:13 +0 (UTC)
URI: http://nora.nerc.ac.uk/id/eprint/509849

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