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Geological and Tectonic Structure of Dutch North Sea


Describe the Petroleum Geology and Basin Analysis?

Here in this report the study is made on the petroleum drilling in the Dutch North Sea area and the drilling engineering is understood in this report. The report is mainly based on understanding the petroleum potential structure in the North Basin area. It has been found that the petroleum extracted from the North Sea area is facing price rise due to the advance technology introduced in the area. To understand the issue it is important to understand the entire structure or mechanism of drilling of petroleum. The entire report deals with that. Here in this report the geological setting of petroleum system in the North Sea basin is discussed, the tectonical structure and the stratigraphy structure of the basin is discussed.

Further the study is made on the burial and thermal history of the basin. Then the discussion is done and the detailed study is presented on the petroleum potential structure of the North Sea Basin. The source rocks, reservoirs and the seals and traps are studied in this report. After all this studies a conclusion is drawn that represent the summary of the report and the detailed study made in this report.

The North Sea Basin spreads and region of 625,000 km2 and is lies north of the Netherlands and in the middle of Norway and Great Britain. In the north it is limited by the mainland rack edge. It is a geological low and can be partitioned into a few sub-bowls (A healthy North Sea ecosystem and a healthy North Sea fishery: two sides of the same regulation, 1994). The region has a dynamic tectonic history and statement has shifted between the diverse bowls. In this study the center will be on structural improvement and the stratigraphy from the Silesian (125 Ma) until later. A connection to the depositional history and the paleo environment will be made. This is carried out to have the capacity to show conceivable source shakes, repositories and seals for oil creation, the primary industry of the locale (Mayer-Gürr, 1976).

The present North Sea Basin, lies between three jumping massifs: the Norwegian Caledonides, the London Brabant Massif and the topographic high of Great Britain. The Norwegian Caledonides have been a topographic high since the Carboniferous, while the other two massifs were inspired above ocean level amid the Early Tertiary. The depositional setting for the late Pliocene to Pleistocene chilly and glaciomarine progression in the region is acquired from a long topographical history that influenced the basinal range and the dregs source zone. Tectonic action that created the present structural make up can be followed back to Permian and Carboniferous times (Mead, 2012). Three fundamental cracking stages happened amid Carboniferous to Permian, late Mid Jurassic to Early Cretaceous and late cretaceous to Early Eocene times. Albeit extensional tectonics in the North Sea and in contiguous areas of the North Sea started as ahead of schedule as the late Carboniferous, however the mainland division in the middle of Greenland and Norway was launched first after the late Paleocene (A “North Sea School of Architecture?”: Nidaros Cathedral's Romanesque Transepts and North Sea Medieval Architecture, 2012). The Early Permian-Triassic breaking in the North Sea region is ineffectively compelled. Amid Jurassic–early Cretaceous, the North Sea locale endured huge breaking. This fracturing finished in the soonest Cretaceous and moved to the More, Voring and Faroe–Shetland bowls. After this period, the North Sea Basin thermally subsided and was loaded with silt sourced from the encompassing landmasses, intruded on intermittently by bowl reversal. Crustal augmentation stayed amid Late Paleozoic in the mainland outside layer fragment in the middle of Norway and Greenland, and proceeded in a few cracking scenes amid the Mesozoic. Crustal augmentation influenced external parts of the More and Voring bowls amid Late Cretaceous Paleocene, which later on moved towards the focal piece of the bowls with the progression of the passage of time (North Sea oil: Women not at sea, 1985).

Stratigraphy and Depositional History

1. Caledonian geosynclinals stage (Cambrian-Devonian). Transformative and meddling rocks of Caledonian age structure the storm cellar unpredictable for a significant part of the North Sea region. The north-eastern limit of the Caledonian fold belt at this stage can't be characterized more nearly than as an evident pattern from the focal North Sea through northern Germany into Poland.

2. Variscan geosynclinals stage. Devonian and Carboniferous testimony transgressed from the south over the dissolved Caledonides and arrived at greatest thickness in the southern North Sea, a territory which framed piece of the Variscan fore deep (Alvarez, 1986).

3. Permian-Triassic intracratonic stage. Taking after the Variscan orogeny vast parts of the North Sea were possessed by the quickly subsiding intracratonic Northern and Southern Permian bowls. These bowls contain a thick arrangement of clastic and evaporite stores.

4. Cracking pathogenic stage. Advancement of the North Sea fracture framework began amid the Triassic and overwhelmed the pale geographic setting of the zone amid the Jurassic and Cretaceous (Pegrum, Rees and Naylor, 1975). The advancement of the North Sea crack is identified with the improvement of the Arctic North Atlantic break zone. The recent arrived at the phase of crustal division in the early Tertiary, at which time the North Sea break got to be idle.

5. Tertiary, post rifting phase of provincial bowl subsidence. With the end of fracturing developments in the North Sea the zone got to be liable to local subsidence prompting the advancement of a symmetrical, saucer-molded intracratonic bowl (Bottom irregularities in the North Sea, 1977). The late Tertiary Rhone-Rhine crack framework does not reach out into the North Sea and postdates the North Sea break.

In Paleogene the Rogland Group was saved and is made out of the shallow marine shale, minimal marine sandstone and volcanic stores that are of Eocene age. The Neogene contains the Hordaland and Nordland bunches (Phelps and Lake, 1924). The lower Neogene progression speaks to the profound water sedimentation, as showed by the development of the contourite silt float over the sub marine unconformity. The upper Neogene speak to a time of provincial change that demonstrates a significant offshore move (progradation) of the mainland edge that could be because of subsidence. The building of the rack slant shows increment in silt supply because of inspire and disintegration (Reis, 1996). The Nordland Group of Early Miocene-Recent age is of prime criticalness in present study and its principle viewpoints as foundation for the present study is displayed underneath.

  • Utsira formation: The Utsira Formation is of Middle-Late Miocene age and was stored in the northern North Sea range, predominantly inside the Norwegian segment, between the Jaeren High and the Tampen Spur. This arrangement demonstrates a complex depositional structural engineering which fluctuates with scope. Around 58° N in the southern Viking Graben, the arrangement structures goliath mounded sand framework with scattered interims of mud stone. This sand hill is squeezing primarily out both eastward and westward (Bradley and Gipson, 1987).

Around 59° N the Utsira Formation is portrayed by square sandstone in lower part, while the upper part demonstrates an acceptable upward coarsening pattern in well logs. In the northern Viking Graben (60°- 61° N), the Utsira Formation, spoke to by a mounded sandstone body, for the most part comprises of square sandstone with subordinate mud stone interims. In its northward augmentation to Tampen zone the Utsira Formation is shown by a think unit of glauconitic sand (Roberts, 1985). The Utsira Formation is considered time proportional to the Molo arrangement.

  • The Naust Formation: The formation is made out of sand, residue, mud and infrequently coarse grained clastic silt. The arrangement speaks to Pliocene to Pleistocene strata on the Norwegian mainland rack. The Naust Formation is circulated everywhere throughout the Mid- Norwegian mainland rack. The arrangement is involved a westward ace reviewing thick progression of Plio-Pleistocene strata on the rack and comprises of a few unintelligible seismic units of till, glaciogenic flotsam and jetsam and slide stores (Russell and Bijaksana, 2012). The cold seismic units of the Naust Formation are bury stratified with entomb frosty stores.

The Naust Formation down laps onto the Kai Formation and is in the eastward course limited beneath by the Molo Formation. A few ages have been appointed to the base of the Naust Formation, yet the age that has been most broadly utilized is 2.7 to 2.8 (Ma). This age has been allocated on the premise of the bio stratigraphic information related with the remote ocean boring centres (Brouwer and Shawcross, 1964).

Impact of Technology on Petroleum Prices

The historical source of rocks is very important and litho logic character that attracts the eyes of the researchers in this field (The North Sea., 1976). The source rocks brings the definition of the petroleum system present in the North Sea Basin that includes several different basins that together makes the world’s most important petroleum source that provides supply of power generation to the entire globe. The petroleum system in the North Sea Basin includes the Moray Firth Ground, Viking Graben and the Central Graben. The petroleum system includes the Mandal Ekofisk petroleum system which is defined and described by the Cornford in the year 1994 (Buydos, n.d.). It was decided to treat the entire system of petroleum in the North Sea Basin as a single petroleum system because to make it simple and through the detailed study of the source rocks and hydrocarbons relationship, it was found that the properties of the entire system was almost same. Hence, it was decided to treat the entire system as a single petroleum system. The analysis of the properties in the North Sea Basin is discussed in details in the following points:

To know what petroleum is it is important to know the source of petroleum. Petroleum is formed from the organic substances that were buried under the soil for a long period since the Jurassic age (Walton, 2011). The marine shale of the Jurassic periods is important source of petroleum throughout the world. It was found that the sea level rose which led to the burring of the marine shale under the water. The high organic productive material got buried under the land and the water depth increased during the Jurassic period. This resulted in the anoxic bottom water in the areas of bathymetric basins. This further resulted in thick accumulation of organic hydrocarbon rich shale that led to the preservation of rich organic materials in the deep basins of the North Sea. During that period the rifting reached to its maximum and the organic materials started burring under the soil. Due to the rise of the water level the soil mudstones got buried under the sea water and the source rocks of petroleum in this area came under the sea. Later in the man period this areas were discovered and the petroleum was extracted from this area. The basin contains a huge source rocks that are still yet not converted into petroleum and will need many more years to get converted into petroleum products (Churchill, 1977). Experiments and researches were done and it was found that this area includes source rocks that were similar in nature and the properties of the source rocks were almost same. This led to declare the entire basin as a single petroleum source and it was decided to treat it as a single petroleum system.

The entire petroleum system in the North Sea basin is made out of same type of source rocks. This area has huge reservoirs of petroleum that has been extracted since a number of years. These reservoirs are mainly found in the sea shores and few of it is found in the land areas. The entire Petroleum system includes the reservoirs mainly in the North Sea area (Warme, Douglas and Winterer, 1981). These reservoirs are mainly distributed in the area with time and space; the diverse characteristics of the reservoirs are the result of the complex geological structure in the area. The reservoirs are grouped into three main categories that are the pre rift reservoirs of the Jurassic age, pre rift reservoirs of the middle or early age and the post rift reservoirs. These reservoirs are distributed in the North Sea basin uniformly and are used for the extraction of petroleum and gas products that are the main source of energy for the entire globe in the present day. The most of the area in the North Sea Basin is covered with the Pre rift reservoirs of the Jurassic period, and then stands the pre rift reservoirs of the middle age and after that stand the Post rift reservoirs. The post rift reservoirs are situated in the 57 degree North in the Basin (Coakley and Stein, 2010).

Source Rocks, Deposits, and Seals for Oil Creation

Burial curves

Figure: Burial curves for several location in the North Sea Basin (HARKER, STUART D., Occidental Petro, 1991)

North Sea Basin

Figure: Showing the approximate depth of the craterous rocks in the North Sea Basin (HARKER, STUART D., Occidental Petro, 1991)

In the areas near the Southern part of the North Sea area the Zechstein evaporates that serves as a source of several seals and traps in the central and northern North Sea area. This seals and traps areas are the source and accumulation of the hydrocarbons that are the source of energy for the globalized world. These hydrocarbons are matched by several different varieties of seals and tarps in the area (Gautier, 2005). Gas and Oil is found in the area of the North Sea Basin in the Pre Rift reservoirs that are found to be in tilted position that has fault in the blocks where seals are formed along with fine grained and post rift sedimentary sequences that are the part of the Jurassic structure in the area. If the examples are taken the Auk and the Argyll fields can be taken in consideration which has Rotliegend and Zechstein carbon sandstone in the reservoirs where traps are sealed by uncomfortably overlying craterous rocks during the Jurassic period (Cooper and Gaskell, 1966). These are the low permeability zones that have fine grained rocks of Triassic. In the areas of the Viking Graben Traps are sealed with vertically overlying craterous and Jurassic rocks. Here the traps and seals are result from the reservoirs fault in the contact of the sandstones and the juxtaposition of the shales. In several areas seals are equivalent to the Kimmeridge clay that are temporary in nature. In the Moray Firth Ground the seals are caused because of the shallow marine that has sandstones reservoirs that provides trapping mechanisms in that area. In the Central Graben area the seal are also temporary in nature and are equivalent to the reservoirs seals in the Fulmar and Ula regions (Cubitt, England and Larter, 2004).

To understand the structure of the petroleum system in the North Sea area it is important to understand the history of the Burial and Thermal nature of the petroleum reservoirs in the Basin Area. It is really important because without knowing the nature of the Petroleum, the Basin cannot be differentiated form other basins in the rest of the world (Cussler and Dirgo, 1996). In this section a detailed study is made to understand the burial and thermal history of the Basin in the North Sea region. This study is done with the help of Modeling and is the result of the modeling process. The analysis is discussed in the points below:

The burial history of the North Sea Basin is predicted in the pre inversion techno stratigraphic units. This shows a huge difference in the observation along the cross sectional observation made for the Basin area. It includes the Variscan to the early rift techno graphic units that has reached to its maximum in the depth of burial which is prior to the cretaceous syncing version period. In this area the maximum depth is not present at present day in a small area of 50km along the cross sectional area of the Basin. In the southern part of the basin the units are pre inverse in nature and are structurally high in nature in the area of P9 (Demaison and Murris, 1984). The maximum burial depth is found in the southern Basin that extends southward up to 7 km and northward up to 10-20 km. But in the northern part of the actual basin the depth at the present point that extends up to 62-78km in the region of the Traissic rocks and carboniferous rocks is max.

Drilling Engineering

It is important to understand the temperature and heat flow history of the petroleum reserves in the Basin area. It is stimulated by assuming the transient heat that has a flow condition and takes into account the time dependence of the bottom and top boundaries condition. It has been found that zero heat flows in the flow in the lateral boundary, radiogenic heat flow in the sediments and the porosity is dependent on the heat capacities and condition of the sediments (DeNatale, Troise and Sacchi, 2007). The thermal modeling also reveals the vertical and lateral variation of the flow of heat in the sediments in the cross sectional area of the basin. The figures are shown below to make it easy to understand.

Tectonic curve

Figure: a. Tectonic curve, b. Evolution of heat flow, c. Evolution of sediment water temperatures (Verweij and Simmelink, 2002)

The Central North Sea (CNS) has been a center of hydrocarbon investigation and generation for a considerable length of time. Indeed now the region remains a hive of movement, with an expected 5 billion barrels of oil and gas undiscovered. Late revelations in the CNS incorporate the Culzean Gas and Condensate field by Maersk Oil, and the Shaw Discovery by Marubeni and Talisman in the year 2009. In 2010 Encore published the Catcher and Catcher East revelations with assessed stores of 300 Mmboe, speaking to one of the biggest disclosures in the Central North Sea for over 10 years. Petroleum Geo-Services (PGS) has been working in the Central North Sea for almost 20 years (Distribution of Holocene silicoflagellates in North Pacific sediments, 1977). Since 2002, the organization has been conveying united 3d seismic information known as the Mega Survey, which has mapped, in both provincial and prospect level detail, 60,000km² of the Central North Sea. This has now been moved up to the Mega Survey Plus; a pre-stack consolidation of almost 17,000 km² of Central North Sea seismic which, with skyline understanding and highlighted AVO irregularities, permits fast provincial screening for prospect and lead distinguishing prospect and the major identification.

 Petroleum Projection in North Sea Basin
Figure: Petroleum Projection in North Sea Basin

The Central North Sea is a center of investigation for structural, stratigraphic and mix traps. Scopes of structural traps are introduced in the CNS, extending from tilted flaw pieces to crestal droops (Echo-traces from the north-eastern Atlantic, 1977). However as investigation and improvement has advanced, critical new structural terminations are progressively uncommon. The PGS Mega Survey Plus covers various substantial scale Cretaceous droops like the gainful Centurion field, speaking to another play sort in the CNS.

Stratigraphic traps are thought to hold up to 75% of the undiscovered oil in the UK mainland rack. Stratigraphic traps range from on lap to squeeze outs, crossing single seal and poly-seal traps. The Forties sandstone stratigraphic trap in the Callanish Field is a case of profound water mounded turbidites that have endured differential compaction and squeeze out towards the southwest. Blend catching components consolidating structural and stratigraphic gimmicks are likewise display, for instance in the Britannia field in the Lower Cretaceous (Eddy kinetic energy in the deep western North Atlantic, 1977). Despite the fact that a scope of hydrocarbon play sorts exist in the CNS, this article centres upon profound water Paleocene and shallow to profound marine Jurassic plays.

Advances in Technology

This article has quickly secured the late disclosures and plays of the Central North Sea and exhibits how the redesigned information scope of the Mega Survey Plus can help to recognize more leads and prospects with a level of certainty never conceivable previously (Eedler, 1978). With an expected five billion barrels of oil and gas undiscovered and huge in-situ framework, the Central North Sea is still an exceptionally alluring range to investigate and work. As investigation proceeds in this productive hydrocarbon region, exhaustive, condition of-the-craftsmanship information is fundamental for portraying prospects and decreasing danger. The application of pre stack seismic information consolidated with refined decently tied skylines and AVO peculiarities gives an abundance of data (Errant polychaete annelids from North Carolina, 1977). Besides, the future application of PGS' Geo Streamer (double sensor towed streamer engineering) will further upgrade information scope of the Central North Sea and keep on including worth at the supply level.

North Sea is one of the major places of great importance because of the huge availability of the major natural resources of the world. The huge availability of the resources actually is of great importance. But along with the huge availability of the resources and important stuffs there are major uncertainties and from the largest is the climate change (Fischer, 1981). This is the major possible uncertainties and it is explained briefly below:

Climate change: Environmental change will prompt changes in a few variables which can affect surge risk, including ocean level climb, changes in precipitation examples and profundities, and expanded temperatures which will modify examples of evaporation, transpiration and snow stockpiling (Goldberg, 1973). The nearby effect of these progressions differs fundamentally between regions inside the North Sea locale, so examinations utilizing territorially downscaled atmosphere projections and further displaying are obliged to focus their impact on surge danger. An environmental change projection for northern Europe demonstrates changes in both temperature and precipitation administrations later on that, in a few regions, will help an expanded risk from hydrological flooding. Likewise, the local impacts of worldwide ocean level climb and anticipated changes in examples of storm surge will likewise have a noteworthy impact on the probability and/or extent of surge immersion in numerous seaside areas. There are, on the other hand, huge varieties between areas as to the effect of changed climatic administrations on surge danger (Healey, Force and Oslo and Paris Commissions, 1995). In vast parts of the Nordic area, for instance, a reduction in the general surge peril is anticipated for some bigger catchments, reflecting the anticipated abatement in the spring and early summer snowmelt surges which overwhelm crest streams in these catchments. At the same time, an increment in the event of great precipitation can improve the probability of surges in littler catchments and in urban zones in the same area. Lake flooding can increment in zones presently commanded by snowmelt flooding because of changes in regular spill over volumes in spite of an anticipated decrease in the greatest every day inflow to the lake (History of the North American Pinnipeds: a Monograph of the Walruses, Sea-Lions, Sea-Bears, and Seals of North America, 1881). Ocean level climb will likewise have variable neighbourhood impacts all through northern Europe because of local contrasts in elevate coming about because of isostasy rather than area subsidence. In the event that one is to create direction for making note of environmental change in surge hazard administration, it is accordingly important to direct genuinely point by point local or nearby examinations. The North Sea Region Climate Change Assessment (NOSCCA) will archive the deductively real learning about past and conceivable future environmental change in the North Sea and neighbouring ranges for an extensive variety of subjects. It will be a complete environmental change appraisal from distributed investigative work with a territorial IPCC like assessment and a more extensive concentrate on marine and physical biology and fluxes of matter (Holstein and Lake, 2007). It is a global activity being proposed by the Institute for Coastal Research of the GKSS Research Center in Germany.

Petroleum Prices

6. Conclusion

The reproduction of this geographical history aides anticipate the area of conceivable oil supplies through the investigation of conceivable source, supply and seal rocks. The Kimmeridge Clay is a decent source rock and it is thickest in the North of the Central Graben and has been saved less in the Terschelling Basin. A decent store rock can be found in the permeable Scruff Greensand development, which has additionally been, which has been broadly kept all through the Central Graben, yet is thickest in the South (Jordan, 2004). A decent seal are the Cretaceous chalk arrangements that together with disfigurement because of (reversal) tectonics and salt diapirism can make flawless oil and gas traps. A large portion of these layers have been disintegrated in the focal point of the Central Graben however. So the oil potential (at this profundity) around there is bad. General the North Sea bowl has encountered a very intricate land history. Anyway, because of the substantial measure of hydrocarbon collections it has been decently mulled over. In this paper just a concise history has been depicted (Junger, 1997).

Likely the most critical tectonic stage in the North Sea has been the one of fracturing, the Kimmerian stages. Not just has the melancholy created by the fracturing guaranteed the affidavit of an exceptionally rich source rock; it has likewise delivered satisfactory structures to capacity as traps (Kell, Scott and Hunter, 2004).

Towards the south, fundamentally in the Netherlands the Variscan stage and its related foreland have created a rich gas region. This was less because of the structures that created amid that tectonic stage, but instead because of the way of the foreland bowl which has made a practically immaculate source-repository seal progression (Lake and Fanchi, 2006). The last stage, the Alpine stage has from numerous points of view entangled the structures in the Southern North Sea and has had some negative ramifications for timing and spillage. However, it has likewise brought on new structures to structure that got to be fabulous traps.

Since the North Sea is exceptionally developed, investigation insightful, new revelations ought to be looked for in tight oil and gas and in play levels that have not been decently investigated (Lake and Mitchell, 2006). The Pre Sillesian may have potential despite the fact that not a great deal of business aggregations has been found. Tertiary delta groupings and their conceivable sedimentary traps might likewise demonstrate effective if concentrated on in subtle element (MacGarvin, 1990).

7. References

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