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Geochemical Fingerprinting as a Tool for Paleoenvironmental Reconstructions and Source Rock Characterization of the Norwegian Continental Shelf - An Integrative Approach


The Norwegian Continental Shelf—comprised of the North Sea, Mid-Norwegian Margin, and Barents Sea—has been an important and prolific oil and gas province for over fifty years. Most of the Norwegian Continental Shelf fields have been producing from Middle Jurassic, Upper Jurassic and Cretaceous chalk reservoirs sourced from shales of the Upper Jurassic Draupne Formation (also known as the Kimmeridge Clay Formation). Given its importance in most exploration areas around the North Sea, the petroleum properties and characteristics of the Draupne Formation have been extensively studied. Declining production, associated with depletion of the Jurassic reservoirs over 30-40 years of active production, has generated an increasing need to find new resources. To find these resources, the industry faces the challenge of finding new economically viable petroleum systems, which involves an understanding of deeper stratigraphic intervals within these regions. The possibility of deeper source intervals may occur in Triassic, Permian, Devonian and Carboniferous successions, and have been documented within and the periphery of the Norwegian Continental Shelf. Attempting to correlate individual oil samples to its respective source origin, maturity and age becomes complicated if oil mixing is present in the region. Previous geochemical studies have proposed geochemical frameworks to decouple source rocks of the Barents Sea province. This study seeks to use geochemical and stable isotope data to decouple the characteristics of potential deeper source rock intervals across all provinces of the Norwegian Continental Shelf.