Source rock quality and maturity and oil types in the NW Danish Central Graben: implications for petroleum prospectivity evaluation in an Upper Jurassic sandstone play area

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Abstract

The principal exploration targets in the northwestern part of the Danish Central Graben have been Upper Jurassic sandstone reservoirs. The presence and effectiveness of the oil-generating rocks of the Upper Jurassic-lowermost Cretaceous marine shales of the Farsund Formation has generally not been considered as a significant risk. This study provides an evaluation of the source rock quality maturity and distribution and of the oils in this area. The kerogen in the Farsund Formation is algal-derived and kerogen type ranges from Type II to Type III. Generally the source rock quality is fair to excellent but the petroleum generation potential varies considerably. In most wells the uppermost part of the Farsund Formation (Bo Member) consists of highly oil-prone shales. However the presence of oil-prone kerogen may be masked by kerogen of poorer source quality. Favourable conditions for oil-prone kerogen preservation were present during the time of deposition of upper parts of the Farsund Formation but exceptions are not unusual. Similar vitrinite reflectance gradients indicate a uniform thermal regime over the area. The oil window occurs from c. 3800-4000 to 4800 m i.e. spanning approximately 800-1000 m. A general decrease in the generation potential from the top towards the base of the formation is caused by both generation and deterioration of kerogen quality. The Gertrud Graben and Feda Graben constitute the main kitchen areas and oil compositions indicate sourcing from marine shales. In the shallow parts of the Outer Rough Basin the shales are mostly immature and the sourcing is dependent on kitchen areas outside the area or on Palaeozoic rocks. Mature Zechstein is indicated by a minor oil show probably locally sourced.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationPetroleum geology: from mature basins to new frontiers - Proceedings of the 7th petroleum geology conference
EditorsB.A. Vining, S.C. Pickering
PublisherGeological Society of London
Pages95-111
Number of pages17
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2010
Event7th Petroleum Geology Conference - Queen Elizabeth II Conference Centre, London, United Kingdom
Duration: 30 Mar 20092 Apr 2009

Publication series

NamePetroleum Geology Conference Series
PublisherGeological Society, London
Volume7

Conference

Conference7th Petroleum Geology Conference
Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom
CityLondon
Period30/03/092/04/09

Keywords

  • Danish Central Graben
  • Maturity
  • North Sea
  • Oil
  • Petroleum potential
  • Source rock
  • Upper jurassic

Programme Area

  • Programme Area 3: Energy Resources

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