Sandstone intrusions: detection and significance for exploration and production

M. Huuse, Davide Duranti, S. Groves, C. Guargena, P. Prat, K. Holm, N. Steinsland, Bryan Thomas Cronin, Andrew Hurst, J. A. Cartwright

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

33 Citations (Scopus)


Early recognition of sandstone intrusions is a key factor in maximising exploration and production success of the Paleogene deepwater sandstone reservoirs of the northern North Sea. Discordant sandstone intrusions are readily detected in cores, image logs and high quality seismic data by cross-cutting relations with the encasing shales. Many examples of “ratty” sands seen in borehole logs and “artefacts” or “channel margins” seen in seismic data have later proven to be sandstone intrusions, with significant implications for exploration and production. The effects of sand remobilisation and injection include increased connectivity between reservoir compartments, thief sands caused by brecciation and injection into the seal, and large-scale modifications of reservoir geometry, in particular top reservoir. Detailed case studies from the North Sea Paleogene and pilot studies including various other deepwater clastic successions indicate that sandstone intrusions could prove to be an important factor in the development of some highly prolific deepwater provinces such as the West African Atlantic margin. Early recognition of sandstone intrusions in such areas is important for optimal development planning. It requires that the appropriate borehole and seismic data are acquired, and that sandstone intrusions are incorporated in the interpreter’s mindset.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)15-24
Number of pages10
JournalFirst Break
Issue number21
Publication statusPublished - 2003


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