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Bulletin 2204–C
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Kimmeridgian Shales Total Petroleum System of the North Sea Graben Province

By Donald L. Gautier

thumbnail image of figure 1: location of the North Sea Graben ProvinceAbstract

The North Sea Graben of northwestern Europe, World Energy Project Province 4025, is entirely offshore within the territorial waters of Denmark, Germany, the Netherlands, Norway, and the United Kingdom. Extensional tectonics and failed rifting are fundamental to the distribution of oil and gas in the province. Accordingly, the geologic history and reservoir rocks of the province are considered in the context of their temporal relationship to the principal extension and rifting events. The oil and gas accumulations of the province are considered part of a single petroleum system: the Kimmeridgian Shales Total Petroleum System (TPS). Source rocks of the Kimmeridgian Shales TPS were deposited in Late Jurassic to earliest Cretaceous time during the period of intensive extension and rifting. The Kimmeridgian Shales contain typical “type II” mixed kerogen. Oil and gas generation began locally in the North Sea Graben Province by Cretaceous time and has continued in various places ever since.

Version 1.0

Posted June 2005

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