Carboniferous petroleum systems around the Mid North Sea High, UK

Monaghan, A.A.; Arsenikos, S.; Quinn, M.F.; Johnson, K.R.; Vincent, C.J.; Vane, C.H. ORCID:; Kim, A.W.; Uguna, C.N.; Hannis, S.D.; Gent, C.M.A.; Millward, D.; Kearsey, T.I.; Williamson, J.P.. 2017 Carboniferous petroleum systems around the Mid North Sea High, UK. Marine and Petroleum Geology, 88. 282-302.

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The existence of an extensive, prospective Visean–Namurian Carboniferous petroleum system in and around the hitherto under-explored Mid North Sea High is documented. Evidence is drawn from integrated analysis of over 50,000 line kilometres of seismic data and well data, together with regional source rock screening, reservoir analysis and basin modelling. Visean-Namurian marine and non-marine mudstones and coal source rocks are interbedded within fluvial and marine reservoir sandstones within a stacked succession up to 5 km thick. Source rocks are dominantly gas-prone with oil-prone intervals, and have reached oil to gas maturity levels dependent on location. Burial/thermal history modelling indicates a kitchen area on the southern margin of the Mid North Sea High with northwest and northeastwards migration of gas and oil during Mesozoic and Cenozoic times. A variety of structural and stratigraphic traps are possible, including intraformational Carboniferous traps, with a regional seal at Permian (Zechstein) level. Synthesis of many previously unpublished datasets demonstrates the Visean–Namurian play south of the Mid North Sea High as part of an extensive petroleum system from the East Irish Sea, across onshore to offshore UK and into The Netherlands sector of the North Sea. The purpose of this synthesis is to highlight future exploration opportunities beneath and northwards of the productive Westphalian Southern North Sea gas basin, and to begin to de-risk the petroleum systems that are exemplified by the lower Carboniferous Breagh Field in a frontier area of the mature North Sea province.

Item Type: Publication - Article
Digital Object Identifier (DOI):
ISSN: 0264-8172
NORA Subject Terms: Earth Sciences
Date made live: 18 Sep 2017 12:27 +0 (UTC)

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