Following a very successful 1st conference on stratigraphic challenges with Triassic plays in the North Sea (January 2021), the 2nd conference will cover stratigraphic and reservoir challenges with Triassic plays not only in the North Sea but also in Norwegian Sea, West of Shetland, Atlantic margins, and northern Europe.
Middle to Lower Triassic sand reservoirs in the region have recently become a primary interest for new discoveries especially for gas exploration. Stacked reservoirs, variable reservoir quality laterally and vertically, challenges in stratigraphy framework and sequence stratigraphic studies and complex tectonic histories have stimulated joint research interests from academia and industry.
There is a significant number of publications and unpublished reports on the stratigraphy and reservoir characterisation of Lower Jurassic to Cretaceous intervals, but the Triassic interval is still one of the least investigated, especially in the NS, Norwegian Sea and surrounding regions that have the potential to provide extensive resources – with large commercial potential – and research-driven opportunities in energy transition.
One of the main aims of this 2nd conference will be to discuss, share and understand weathering, mineralogy, lithology, provenance (origin and deposition) in sand reservoirs in the region. 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 region and are typically related to high quality sandstone reservoirs that have peaked commercial interest.
Other Triassic formations across the regions, such as the Sherwood, Joanne and Josephine sandstones exhibit a high degree of diagenetic features, thus producing good quality reservoirs. However, challenges exist enabling researchers to define and understand precise stratigraphic relationship between basins and regions due to the dynamic nature of these formation types (e.g., palaeoenvironment, palaeogeography). In energy transition, reviewing the vintage data (i.e., stratigraphy) and available analytical results in addition to repurposing and decommissioning of facilities to undertake geothermal explorations and activities are receiving significant attention.
The regions are structurally complex and understanding the connectivity of the sub-basins (pods) has been a specific point of interest for both sectors (industry and academia). Traditional techniques such as biostratigraphy (i.e., palynology) is difficult in Triassic sediments due to impoverished recoveries and/or barrenness of microfossils. However, through a combination of two or more stratigraphic approaches such as, chemostratigraphy, sedimentary provenance and cyclostratigraphy, have provided a better understanding, but there is still much more to learn. For example, these techniques are used independently and/or focus on a specific small area, leaving the results floating in terms of understanding the wider stratigraphic framework of the European Triassic.