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Title: An integrated geological assessment of the unconventional hydrocarbon potential onshore UK
Author: Palci, Francesco
ISNI:       0000 0004 9350 7491
Awarding Body: Imperial College London
Current Institution: Imperial College London
Date of Award: 2019
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A basin and petroleum systems modelling approach (BPSM) is used in this study to evaluate the unconventional hydrocarbon potential of the onshore UK. Two basins, the Gainsborough Trough and the Weald Basin, have been selected as being representative of the two major unconventional plays in the UK onshore, namely the Carboniferous of northern England and the Jurassic of southern England. The model indicates the Gainsborough Trough has potential for both shale oil and shale gas. Between 8 and 26 billion barrels of STOIIP and between 11 and 38 Tcf of GIIP have been estimated to lie within the sweet spots of the Bowland Shale. However, at the present time, there remains considerable uncertainty concerning these essentially static in-place volumes, as there is no dynamic calibration from wellbore test data. In the Weald Basin a new play has been successfully tested by the Horse Hill 1 well in 2014. This play consists of naturally fractured micritic limestone beds intercalated within mature Kimmeridge Clay source rock. The petroleum system model indicates that the central Weald contains a larger area of thermally mature Kimmeridge Clay than previously reported. The source rock thermal maturity and the natural fracture system of the micritic beds are the parameters that control prospectivity of the new play. Fracture analysis from outcrop at Kimmeridge Bay provides an improved understanding of the regional fracture network in southern England. A 3D fracture model is used to predict fracture intensity, porosity and permeability which will form the basis for future reservoir models. The fracture model suggests good connectivity in the fracture system implying that the fractured micritic play in the Weald Basin works as a hybrid play where oil preferentially accumulates in the structural highs, such as tilted fault blocks and horsts focussed up-dip by the fractured micrite carrier system.
Supervisor: Fraser, Alastair Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral