Evidence for focused hot fluid flow within the Britannia Field, offshore Scotland, UK

Stuart Archer, H L Wycherley, G R Watt, M L Baron, J Parnell, H Chen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

13 Citations (Scopus)


Fluid inclusion and scanning electron microscope-cathodoluminescence evidence indicates focused hot, saline, diagenetic fluid flow within the Eastern Flank of the Britannia Field, offshore Scotland, UK. The fluid was sourced from the Andrew Salt Dome, 10 km to the east. The fluids, which promoted quartz cementation of the upper zones within the field, were up to similar to30degreesC hotter and had salinities up to similar to10 wt% NaCl equivalent higher than fluids from lower in the reservoir section. During diagenesis hot saline fluids migrated westwards as part of a radiating 'diagenetic front' from the Andrew Salt Dome. Structural dip associated with the Eastern Flank of the Fladen Ground Spur impeded the westward movement of the diagenetic fluid.

The quartz cements from the upper and lower reservoir zones can be distinguished by morphology. In the upper zones the quartz cements have well-developed macro-crystalline zoning and heterogeneous luminescence across the grain. In the lower zones, the cements are much less developed, unzoned and very weakly luminescent. The diagenetic fluids were primarily focused into Zone 45 within the upper reservoir. Furthermore, within the Main Platform Area the most prolific producing zone is Zone 45, indicating the importance of this interval as a permeable flow unit during both diagenetic and production timescales.

Within the Eastern Flank, the quartz overgrowths have a major impact on reservoir permeability and thus well productivity. The overgrowths are most extensive in the originally clean sandstones with low clay content. Clay in optimum volumes (5-10%) can inhibit nucleation of the damaging quartz overgrowths without having a detrimental effect on pore connectivity. These observations provide a predictive concept for use in the search for relative reservoir sweetspots within the degraded Eastern Flank.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)377-395
Number of pages19
JournalBasin Research
Issue number3
Early online date23 Aug 2004
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2004


  • North-Sea
  • reservoir sandstones
  • quartz cementation
  • deposits
  • temperature
  • diagenesis
  • transport
  • evolution
  • salinity
  • facies


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