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An Integrated Exploration Study of Norwegian-Danish Basin, Northwestern Europe

Niels Balslev Jorgensen, Thomas M. Haselton

The Norwegian-Danish basin (NDB) extends from offshore Norway southeast through Denmark. This study, initiated by the Danish Energy Agency to evaluate hydrocarbon potential, consists of geophysical structural and stratigraphic mapping combined with geologic source rock and reservoir analysis. Approximately 25 wells and 15,000 km of seismic data were included.

Formation of the NDB resulted from uplift of the Variscan foldbelt followed by subsidence of the foreland, i.e., the NDB and the North German basin. The Ringkobing-Fyn High, a positive feature probably established in the late Precambrian and persisting to present, separates the basins, thus constituting the southern boundary of the NDB. Northeast the basin is bounded by the Fennoscandian shield and to the west by the North Sea graben system. Following deposition of Rotliegendes eolian and fluviatile sandstones, a major Late Permian marine transgression deposited up to 2,000 m of evaporites and carbonates. Early Triassic regression resulted in thick red-bed deposits. Halokinesis commencing in the Upper Triassic dominated subsequent structural development. Continued subsidence led to de osition of Early Jurassic shelf mudstones overlain by deltaic sandstones. Rising seas during Late Cretaceous allowed widespread deposition of oceanic pelagic chalk. Early Paleocene wrench movements produced inversion. Basinal downwarping during the Tertiary was accompanied by progradation from the northeast.

The complex tectonic history provides numerous different structural styles and a variety of depositional environments. To date only obvious structural features have been tested. This integrated basin study demonstrates that a number of other hydrocarbon plays remain to be explored.

AAPG Search and Discovery Article #91038©1987 AAPG Annual Convention, Los Angeles, California, June 7-10, 1987.