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Stratigraphic and Reservoir Challenges with Triassic Plays in the North Sea

Occurred Tuesday, 26 January Wednesday, 27 January 2021, 8:00 a.m.–12:45 p.m.  |  Virtual Workshop via Zoom (London, England time)

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The North Sea (including west of Shetlands) is a structurally complex region located of the north to east margin of the UK and comprises offshore oil & gas fields within the territorial waters of five countries; UK, Norway, Denmark, Germany and The Netherlands. The subsurface of the North Sea is dominated with grabens. Extensional tectonics and failed rifting are fundamental to the distribution of oil and gas in the region and each graben is defined to capture regional differences in exploration history, geography, and geological evolution.

The Triassic play is one of the most under-explored plays in the North Sea which is expected to present substantial reservoir commodities that are economically viable. However, the Triassic plays are stratigraphically different across the North Sea across international boundaries. Despite the significant number of publications and unpublished reports on the North Sea, the Triassic plays in the North Sea (especially central graben) is an area of increasing interest to both industry and academic institutions. However, to date it has received relatively less attention. The Triassic Period is one of a few under-explored plays that has the potential to supply extensive resources with large commercial potential and research opportunities.

In particular, the Triassic Skagerrak Formation dominantly comprised of fluvial deposits and lacustrine sediments, containing packages of mudstones and sandstones with varying presence of evaporites. Several high-pressure high-temperature (HPHT) sections are present in the Central Graben and are typically related to high quality sandstone reservoirs that have become of high commercial interest.

Despite good reservoir quality and exploration of the sandstone packages within the Skagerrak Formation, the precise stratigraphic relationship between regions is complicated by the very nature of the palaeoenvironmental conditions in the Triassic. The region is structurally complex and understanding the connectivity of the sub-basins (pods) has been a specific point of interest for both the industrial and academic sectors. Traditional techniques such as biostratigraphy (i.e., palynology) is difficult in North Sea Triassic sediments due to impoverished recoveries or barrenness of microfossils. However, through a combination of two or more stratigraphic approaches such as, chemostratigraphy, isotope stratigraphy, sedimentary provenance, and core log analysis, a much better framework for correlation can be generated. Often these techniques are used independently and/or focus on a specific small area such as the Central Graben, leaving the results floating in terms of understanding the wider stratigraphy framework of the North Sea region.

The primary aim of this two-day virtual conference is to bring together the industrial and academic sectors to present and develop research strategies and targeted sites that will benefit both sectors in the future. The virtual conference will focus on current techniques, the challenges and future solutions in understanding and developing the Triassic reservoirs across the North Sea.

The main topics of the virtual conference will include:

  • Integrated stratigraphic approaches & improved correlation
  • UK-Norway inter-reservoir stratigraphic challenges
  • Stable isotope stratigraphy of evaporites and mudstones
  • Palaeogeography of the Triassic Central Graben
  • Sedimentary sources, provenance as a factor controlling stratigraphy
  • Structural geology of the Central Graben
  • Facies analysis and interpretation – analogues with modern environmental settings
  • Fluvial diagenesis and reservoir quality
  • Drilling challenges in HPHT stratigraphic intervals
  • Big data science, super computers and AI in improving stratigraphy
  • Virtual core workshops

Note: This programme is preliminary and the committee organising the workshop reserves the right to change the order of the talks.

Tuesday 26 January
09.30 - 09.40 Welcome from Chairman & Committee
Ehsan Daneshvar & Stuart Jones
Session 1: General Topic - Sedimentary Sources, Structural Geology, Provenance as a Factor Controlling Stratigraphy
Chair: Richard Worden
09.40 - 10.10 Keynote Speaker - Triassic dryland depositional systems across NW Europe
Tom McKie
10.10 - 10.30 Renaissance of North Sea Salt Tectonics: Triassic Salt Tectonics of the Central North Sea and Implications for Hydrocarbon Prospectivity and CO2 Storage
Christopher Jackson
10.30 - 10.50 The Distribution and Characteristics of Triassic Oil & Gas Finds in NW Europe – an Overview
Mike Cooper
10.50 - 11.10 Keynote Speaker - A Summary of Triassic Exploration Performance in the Central North Sea
Dave Moseley, Westwood
11.10 - 11.30 Live Panel Discussion with 4 Speakers / Q&A from Audience
11.30 - 11.40 Break
Session 2: Integrated Stratigraphic Approaches & Improved Correlation
Chair: Stuart Jones
11.40 - 12.00 Keynote Speaker - Stable Isotope Stratigraphy of Evaporites and Mudstones
Darren Gröcke
12.00 - 12.20 Triassic Mudstones of the Central North Sea: Cross-Border Characterisation, Correlation and Their Palaeoclimatic Significance
Stuart Archer
12.20 - 12.40 Distribution and preservation of the Triassic Skagerrak Formation in the Ula Field, Central North Sea, Norway
Lorenzo Di Lauro
12.40 - 13.00 Live Panel Discussion with 3 Speakers / Q&A from Audience
13.00 - 14:00 Lunch Break
Session 3: Integrated Stratigraphic Approaches & Improved Correlation
Chair: Adrian Hartley
14.00 - 14.20 Correlation and Paleo-Environmental Reconstruction of the Central North Sea: New Insights Using Palynology
Roger Burgess
14.20 - 15.00 Keynote Speaker - A Re-Evaluation of the Biostratigraphy, Provenance and Sedimentology of the Skagerrak Formation UK Central North Sea
Adrian Hartley
15.00 - 15.30 Keynote Speaker - A Multi-Disciplinary Approach to Long Standing Saga – The Stratigraphy of the Triassic in the UK CNS
Tim Pearce
15.30 - 15.50 Live Panel Discussion with 3 Speakers / Q&A from Audience
15.50 - 16.00 Afternoon Coffee Break
Session 4: Sedimentary Sources, Provenance as a Factor Controlling Stratigraphy
Chair: Darren Gröcke
16.00 - 16.20 New Data From an Old Province - The Triassic in the South Viking Graben, Norway
Silvan Hoth
16.20 - 16.40 Light and Heavy Mineral Analysis Within Triassic Skagerrak Formation of the Central Graben Using Raman Spectroscopy
Tim Breitfeld
16.40 - 17.00 Using Magnetostratigraphic Data in Assisted Well Correlation to Reduce Uncertainty: Some Thoughts and First Results
Guillaume Caumon
17.00 - 17.15 Live Panel Discussion with 3 Speakers / Q&A from Audience
17.15 - 18.00 Networking / Virtual Drink
Wednesday 27 January
09.00 - 09.30 Technical Committee Members RECAP from Day 1
Ehsan Daneshvar, Richard Worden & Chris Greenwell
Session 5: Fluvial Diagenesis and Reservoir Quality
Chair: Chris Greenwell
09.30 - 09.50 Keynote Speaker - Richard Worden
09.50 - 10.10 Reservoir Quality and Facies-Controlled Diagenesis in the Triassic Skagerrak Formation of the Central North Sea: A Regional Perspective
Angela Melvin & Michael Akpokodje
10.10 - 10.30 Controls on Reservoir Quality and Clay-Coat Effectiveness in the Triassic Skagerrak Formation of the Central North Sea, UK
Oluwafemi Aro
10.30 - 11.00 Live Panel Discussion with 3 Speakers / Q&A from Audience
11.00 - 11.10 Break
Session 6: Drilling Challenges in HPHT Stratigraphic Intervals
Chair: Ehsan Daneshvar
11.10 - 11.30 Keynote Speaker - Stuart Jones
11.30 - 11.50 Transformation of Clay Minerals and Its Impacts on Reservoir Quality in HPTP Sedimentary Basins
Wei Wei
11.50 - 12.10 Keynote Speaker
12.10 - 12.40 Live Panel Discussion with 3 Speakers / Q&A from Audience
12.40 - 14.00 Lunch Break
Session 7: Facies Analysis and Interpretation – Analogues With Modern Environmental Settings
Chair: Darren Gröcke
14.00 - 14.20 Keynote Speaker - Reservoir Properties of Triassic Sediments, Danish Parts of the Norwegian–Danish and North German Basins
Rikke Weibel
14.20 - 14.40 Quantitative Understanding of Evaporite Sedimentary Systems by Coupling Depositional and Diagenetic Processes in Forward Numerical Models
Xiaoxi Wang
14.40 - 15.00 Fluvial Channel Sands Deposited Under Highly Variable Discharge Conditions
Jan Andsbjerg
15.00 - 15.35 Live Panel Discussion with 3 Speakers / Q&A from Audience
15.35 - 15.45 Afternoon Coffee Break
Session 8: Virtual Core Workshops
Chair: John Ford
15.45 - 16.05 Workshop
16.05 - 16.25 Workshop
16.25 - 16.45 Workshop
16.45 - 17.15 Live Panel Discussion with 3 Speakers / Q&A from Audience
17.15 - 17.25 Wrap Up Conference
Ehsan Daneshvar
Marta Diaz Events Manager
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