Regional hydrocarbon potential and thermal reconstruction of the Lower Jurassic to lowermost Cretaceous source rocks in the Danish Central Graben

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Abstract

The Danish part of the Central Graben (DCG) is one of the petroliferous basins in the offshore region of north-western Europe. The source rock quality and maturity is here reviewed, based on 5556 Rock-Eval analyses and total organic carbon (TOC) measurements from 78 wells and 1175 vitrinite reflectance (VR) measurement from 55 wells, which makes this study the most comprehensive to date. The thermal maturity is evaluated through 1-D basin modelling of 46 wells. Statistical parameters describ- ing the distribution of TOC, hydrocarbon index (HI) and Tmax are presented for the Lower Jurassic marine Fjerritslev Formation, the Middle Jurassic terrestrial-paralic Bryne, Lulu, and Middle Graben Formations and the Upper Jurassic to lowermost Cretaceous marine Lola and Farsund Formations in six areas in the DCG.
For the Farsund Formation the source-rock richness is presented for selected stratigraphic sequences. The upper part of the Farsund Formation is immature in the southern part of the Salt Dome Province, and late oil mature in and near the Tail End Graben and in the Søgne Basin. The lower part of the Farsund Formation is immature in local areas, yet post-mature in the Tail End Graben and in the Salt Dome Province.
The Lower and Middle Jurassic shales are gas-prone in most of the DCG. The depth of the oil window, as defined by a VR of 0.6% Ro, ranges between 2200 and 4500 m. The variations are ascribed to heat flow differences in the DCG and can be modelled by a simple depth model, which includes the thickness of the Cretaceous to Palaeo- gene Chalk and Cromer Knoll Groups.
According to the model, a thick Chalk Group offsets the oil window to deeper levels, which likely can be attributed to the thermal properties of the highly thermally conductive chalk compared to the underlying less thermally conductive clays. The DCG is an overpressured basin, and high-pressure, high-temperature conditions are expected to occur deeper than 3.8 km except for the Feda and Gertrud Grabens where such conditions, due to generally lower tem- peratures, are expected to occur deeper than around 4.7 km.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)195–230
Number of pages36
JournalBulletin of the Geological Society of Denmark
Volume68
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2020

Keywords

  • Basin modelling
  • Danish Central Graben
  • Jurassic source rock quality and maturation
  • Vitrinite reflectance modelling

Programme Area

  • Programme Area 3: Energy Resources

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