Late Cenozoic depositional history of the Danish North sea basin: Implications for the petroleum systems in the Kraka, Halfdan, Siri and Nini fields

E.S. Rasmussen, O.V. Vejbæk, T. Bidstrup, S. Piasecki, K. Dybkjær

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference article in proceedingspeer-review

55 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The Central Graben area was filled with a thick pile of sediments during the Middle Miocene -Quaternary, corresponding to a period of 15Ma. As hydrocarbon expulsion from the most prolific source rock, the Upper Jurassic Bo Member, was initiated only 20 Ma BP and still occurs today, the Middle Miocene - Quaternary evolution is important. In the Middle Miocene, the Central Graben area was covered by a sea with water depth of 500-700 m. During the LateMiocene (Tortonian), the basin was successively filled by prograding slope and deltaic sediments from the northeast. The progradational infill resulted in local tilting of the substratum due to the loading effect of the deposits. In the latest Late Miocene (Messinian), the main input of sediments occurred from the south, as illustrated by a thick onlapping succession of upper Messinian sediments. Pliocene sedimentation was characterized by regular infill from the east within a shelf to shallow marine depositional environment. Following the Miocene and Pliocene, the North Sea Basin tilted due to strong uplift of the Fennoscandian shield and increased subsidence and sedimentation rates within the Central Graben area. This further complicated the maturation of the source rock, migration pathways and accumulation of hydrocarbons. The consequence of this complex burial history is exemplified by the Kraka and Halfdan fields. The Kraka Field has a large down-flank oil accumulation, which is the result of a porosity anomaly resulting from an early invasion of oil in this position before the late tilting of the North Sea Basin. The history of the non-structural accumulation of the Halfdan Field can be readily modelled; it constituted a simple four-way dip closure during the LateMiocene when peak oil migration occurred. The Quaternary tilting of the North Sea Basin due to uplift of the Fennoscandian Shield and strong subsidence of the Central Graben area resulted in a distinct gradient favouring long-distance migration of hydrocarbons. The occurrence of viable migration routes, especially within Paleocene sand layers, has resulted in long-distance migration of oil into the Siri submarine valley system. The most northern indication of hydrocarbons has been recognized as far as 75km from the source area. Longdistance migration of hydrocarbons is also indicated by direct hydrocarbon indications (DHIs) throughout the Cenozoic succession in the Danish North Sea. DHIs are particularly prominent above known hydrocarbon accumulations in the Central Graben. This indicates pronounced vertical migration, for instance along active faults, above these structures.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationPetroleum Geology: North-West Europe and Global Perspectives ‒ Proceedings of the 6th Petroleum Geology Conference
EditorsA.G. Doré, B.A. Vining
PublisherGeological Society of London
Pages1347-1358
Number of pages12
Volume1
ISBN (Print)1-86239-164-5
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2005
Event6th Petroleum Geology Conference - North West Europe and Global perspectives - London
Duration: 6 Oct 20039 Oct 2003

Publication series

SeriesPetroleum Geology Conference Proceedings
Volume6
ISSN2047-9921

Conference

Conference6th Petroleum Geology Conference - North West Europe and Global perspectives
CityLondon
Period6/10/039/10/03

Keywords

  • Cenozoic
  • Chalk
  • Denmark
  • North sea
  • Petroleum systems

Programme Area

  • Programme Area 3: Energy Resources

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