Blog & News

Sand Injectites: more oil to be discovered in dyke complexes above proven fields on the UKCS and NCS

Thu 02 February 2017

Category: Courses

Article by John Wood

In early February, on the AAPG/PESGB will hold another exciting Technical Basin Mastery course. These one-day courses are held in the PESGB training room at the PESGB offices in Croydon, South London. They provide an excellent day of education in a particular field of subsurface geoscience interest at a very low cost.

At this upcoming event, on the 7th February, Andrew Hurst (Professor, University of Aberdeen) and Mads Huuse (Professor, University of Manchester) will talk on Sandstone Injectites in the UKCS and NCS: Sand Injectites: characteristics and implications for exploration and production. Visit for further information.

These well known lecturers will share with us their observations on field outcrops on Injectite complexes and also their recent subsurface research studies including seismic and well-based studies on Injectites. Of particular interest will be the insights that we can take away on how Broadband data has helped to image the sandstone complexities between upper and lower dyke complexes and sill complexes.

The successes made in the greater Alvheim area by Marathon Norway, Det Norske AS and now Aker BP ASA, point to further discoveries to be found elsewhere on the UKCS and on the NCS. If there is going to be a revival in UKCS exploration it will require geoscientists with strong knowledge to unlock these subtle traps. The use of Broadband data has helped imaging of these reservoirs.  Moreover the role of 4D repeat seismic explains the dynamic behavior between oil and water after, such previously non-commercial discoveries, have been brought onto stream. These observations have been used to great effect in the South Viking Graben, ‘Greater’ Alvheim area including the Volund and Viper discoveries in N24/9. Targeting of non-swept oil from these dynamic reservoir amplitude images have direct consequences on the planning of further producers and injectors, see Geoscience attachments, provided courtesy of

volund-south-flank-map-and-seismic-john-woodVOLUND South Flank Map and Seismic  John Wood

n249-volund-structure-map-and-4d-gas-oil-water-john-woodN24/9 VOLUND Structure map and 4D Gas-Oil-Water John Wood

Geoscience teamwork between the ‘Exploration’ regional focused play models and the ‘Production’ reservoir drainage teams will lead to the discovery of yet more new commercial Injectite complexes above proven fields currently on production, for example, above Q204 Schiehallion, part of the OMV UK E & P assets  acquired  by the Aberdeen based Independent Siccar Point Energy.  This in turn will help to alleviate the rapid declining Oil production on the UKCS. Companies such as Chrysaor, which overnight, on 30.01.2017, became Britain’s leading independent exploration and production company: with output of 115,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day. Chrysaor surely must be identifying new exploration possibilities above the Shell fields, for example above the Armada Complex in UK 22/5b, so as to take over half of Shell’s assets in the UKCS and commit to new exploration programs. Phil Kirk, CEO of Chrysaor, announced “We do have 6 or 8 wells we would be looking to sanction in 2017 that the vendor was probably not looking to sanction”.

For those explorers wanting to learn more on Sand Injectites, then Andrew Hurst and Mads Huuse will also be presenting at the GeoNova AS ‘Hydrocarbon Habitats Seminars’ chaired by Halfdan Carstens in Oslo and Stavanger on the 16 and 17 February.  Industry speakers invited from Statoil, Aker BP, PGS and ENGIE will also share their knowledge on specific NCS Field Injectite complexes,


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