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Duncan Erratt1, Paul H Nicholson2, Jason Jeremiah3, Stuart Paton3, Clare P Glover2, Adrian N Foster1, Previous HitJoannaTop M Ajdukiewicz1, Bernard M Besly3, John E Pillar2, Jonathan Berry3, Max Brouwers3, Sue J Horsefield1

(1) ExxonMobil, WC2 2EB London, United Kingdom
(2) ExxonMobil
(3) Shell Expro UK

ABSTRACT: An Integrated Stratigraphic Framework for the Fulmar Formation of the Central North Sea

Since its recognition as a significant hydrocarbon play in the early 1970's, predicting the distribution of the Upper Jurassic Fulmar Formation of the UK Central North Sea has presented a major challenge to explorationists.

Over the past 25 years a number of studies, based on datasets of widely varying type, scale and quality have been carried out by industry and academic groups alike, but have frequently been compromised either by data availability and quality.

This paper presents the results of an integrated sequence-, bio- and seismic-stratigraphic study of the Upper Jurassic of the UK CNS, founded on the most extensive database available to any North Sea exploration venture. It illustrates the evolution in understanding of key bio- and seismic -stratigraphic data, and of large scale controls in the form of basin architecture. It combines these datasets with the results of facies analysis derived from core and well log to present a coherent sequence stratigraphic model for the Late Jurassic evolution of this complex rift system. Finally it compares the basin to modern rift basins in a consideration of appropriate analogues for the Central North Sea Rift.

As data quality (particularly bio-stratigraphic and seismic) continues to improve in what has historically been a challenging deep high pressure - high temperature environment, stratigraphic models will continue to evolve. In the meantime however, the UK Central North Sea remains one of the most data - intensive ancient rift systems in the world, and serves as a valuable analogue for rift - basin exploration.

AAPG Search and Discovery Article #90906©2001 AAPG Annual Convention, Denver, Colorado