Saucer-shaped sandstone intrusions: An underplayed reservoir target

Andrew Hurst*, Mario Vigorito

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

26 Citations (Scopus)


Giant sand injection complexes (GSIs) are regionally developed in many petroleum systems and have become well known in deep-water clastic settings in the North Sea, California, offshore Angola, and elsewhere (Hurst and Cartwright, 2007; Huuse et al., 2010). The GSIs form during shallow burial (generally <1.5 km [0.93 mi]) when pore-fluid pressure rises rapidly to exceed the fracture and lithostatic gradients and regional hydraulic failure occurs in the host strata that causes fluidization and injection of sand into a propagating fracture system (Hurst et al., 2011). Once buried more deeply, these sandstone intrusions are significant reservoir targets that form intrusive traps (Hurst et al., 2006).In deep-water clastic settings, the significance of sand injectites became apparent in the mid to late 1990s during the development of Harding field (Dixon et al., 1995). In 2002, the first deliberate exploration of part of a GSI target led to discovery of the Volund field, Norway (DeBoer et al., 2007; Hurst et al., 2016), which has reserves in excess of 135 million bbl. Despite their growing significance as reservoirs in petroleum systems globally, remarkably little regional-scale mapping of outcrop of GSIs is published. To some extent this reflects a paucity of excellent outcrop, but it also reflects some resistance to the notion that sandstone intrusions can contain commercially significant hydrocarbon volumes, which they clearly do (Hurst et al., 2005).
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)625-633
Number of pages9
JournalAAPG Bulletin
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2017


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