Mapping hydrocarbon charge-points in the Wessex Basin using seismic, geochemistry and mineral magnetics

R. Abubakar*, A. R. Muxworthy, A. Fraser, M. A. Sephton, J. S. Watson, D. Heslop, G. A. Paterson, P. Southern

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    15 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    This study reports a multidisciplinary approach to determining hydrocarbon charge-points and migration in the Wessex Basin, southern England. Geochemical analysis of reservoir core material (Bridport Sandstone and Inferior Oolite) using gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS), suggests that the oil in the Wessex Basin is from a single source, and that small variations in environmentally sensitive biomarkers are likely due to small differences in maturity or depositional conditions during the formation of the oil over millions of years. Using seismic data, basin modelling revealed two potential hydrocarbon migration pathways from the hanging wall of the Purbeck fault into the Sherwood Sandstone reservoir at Wytch Farm. One of these potential pathways is represented by cores termed Creech and the other Bushey Farm. To try to distinguish between the two potential pathways, cores were studied using mineral magnetic techniques. The magnetic signature was characterised using low-temperature (<50 K) magnetic measurements; this is because much of the magnetic signature was dominated by nanoparticles < 30 nm, which are thermally activated at room temperature and magnetically “transparent”. Wells that contained considerable amounts of hydrocarbons were dominated by nanometric magnetite (<30 nm). Such particles are small enough to migrate with the oil, through pore spaces, which are of the order ~100 nm. Wells located at the fringes of large hydrocarbon accumulation had enhanced pyrrhotite-dominated magnetic signals. Of the two potential migration pathways, the mineral magnetic results suggest that the oil migrated through Creech rather than through Bushey Farm.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)510-528
    Number of pages19
    JournalMarine and Petroleum Geology
    Volume111
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - Jan 2020

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