Remaining hydrocarbon exploration potential of the Carboniferous fairway, UK southern North Sea

Cameron, Don; Munns, Jim; Stoker, Sue. 2005 Remaining hydrocarbon exploration potential of the Carboniferous fairway, UK southern North Sea. In: Collinson, J.D.; Evans, D.J.; Holliday, D.W.; Jones, N.S., (eds.) Carboniferous hydrocarbon geology : the southern North Sea and surrounding onshore areas. Yorkshire Geological Society, 209-224. (Occasional Publication, 7).

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Since 1984, twenty-three significant gas discoveries have been made in the Carboniferous fairway of the UK Southern North Sea. Almost all of these have been made within valid closures of the base Permian unconformity. Nevertheless, significant numbers of base Permian prospects remain undrilled, the majority comprising fault-bounded compartments. There has been relatively limited exploration of intra-Carboniferous plays so far. Such plays include a range of structural trap styles along with subcrop closures beneath the Permian. Under the aegis of Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) contracts, the British Geological Survey (BGS) has identified 279 undrilled prospects greater than 500 acres in areal extent within the Carboniferous fairway. Most of the largest are intra-Carboniferous closures with a relatively high risk of seal failure. Nevertheless, 148 of the prospects are predicted by BGS to have most likely (P50) reserves in excess of 50 billion cubic feet (bcf). Clearly, the UK’s Carboniferous fairway contains a wealth of opportunities, not only to develop the existing discoveries, but also to carry out further exploration of the many undrilled gas prospects that remain. All of the significant gas discoveries so far have been made in the south-east of the Carboniferous fairway, where gas-producing infrastructure is already in place. The west and north of the fairway (most of Quadrant 42 and the northern half of Quadrants 43 and 44) remain at a frontier stage of exploration.

Item Type: Publication - Book Section
Programmes: BGS Programmes > Marine, Coastal and Hydrocarbons
Date made live: 28 Nov 2013 12:42 +0 (UTC)

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