Characterizing the Paleocene turbidites of the North Sea: The Mey Sandstone Member, Lista Formation, UK Central Graben

Ben Kilhams*, Adrian Hartley, Mads Huuse, Chris Davis

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Citations (Scopus)


This paper presents an integrated seismic, petrophysical and core facies study of the Mey Sandstone Member of the Central North Sea Lista Formation. Seismic mapping and attribute analysis reveal that the Mey Sandstone Member is composed of distinct axial and lateral routing systems. In turn, the axial system can be divided into coeval western and eastern fairways defined by the underlying graben topography in a similar manner to the overlying Sele Formation (Forties) sandstones. These trends are confirmed by petrophysical analysis, which also reveals that the lateral systems are not as important as previously proposed and that the cycles of the Mey Sandstone Member prograded over time before a late stage of backstepping. These variations can be related directly to published sea-level curves. Core analysis reveals that mean grain size is the main control on sandstone quality and that similar proximal (channelized) to distal (sheet-like) changes in sedimentological facies occur to those described in the Sele Formation. It is argued that these deposits cannot be described as simple basin floor fans due to the impact of topography on turbidite flow routing and the existence of multiple entry points of sediment into the basin.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)337-354
Number of pages18
JournalPetroleum Geoscience
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 6 Aug 2012

Bibliographical note

This work was compiled as part of the PhD project of Ben Kilhams, which is focused on the Maureen and Lista Formations of the Central North Sea and sponsored by Shell Upstream International (UI) Europe. The author has also had access to in-house data and asset team knowledge at Shell UI Europe over a three-year period. The authors would like to thank PGS for the use of the UK part of the Central North Sea MegaSurvey 3D seismic dataset. Further Norwegian well data analysis was completed by Erika Colledge as part of her undergraduate degree at the University of Aberdeen. The work could not have been completed without the help of a large number of staff at Shell UI Europe in Aberdeen and Assen (including Steve Drake, James Eldrett, Daan den Hartog Jager, Sandra Inkster, Herald Ligtenberg, John Marshall, Tom Mckie, Michael Overstolz, Catalina Papuc, Erik Scott, Scott Thackrey, Johan Volker and Paula Watt). Thanks must also go to Stuart Archer, Doug Boyd (Integrated Sedimentology Ltd), David Healy, David Hodgson, David Jolley, Ian Kane, Ben Kneller and Alan Scott (Iron Mountain) for providing feedback, help and advice at various points in the project. Finally, the authors would like to acknowledge Lars Hamberg and one anonymous reviewer for their comments which greatly improved the manuscript.


Dive into the research topics of 'Characterizing the Paleocene turbidites of the North Sea: The Mey Sandstone Member, Lista Formation, UK Central Graben'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this