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Thursday, 19 April 2007, 6:30 p.m., Edinburgh
The Importance of Stratigraphic Plays in the Undiscovered Resources of the UKCS

Susan Stoker, Principal Geologist, British Geological Survey

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This event occurred on: Thursday, 19 April 2007, 6:30 p.m.

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Eighty-one percent of existing UKCS fields and discoveries are located within structural traps, and just 6.5% occur within purely stratigraphic traps. The majority of stratigraphic and combination traps occur in association with syn-rift (Upper Jurassic) and post-rift plays. Stratigraphic and combination traps within pre-rift plays average 3%, whilst Lower Cretaceous plays contain the highest proportion of stratigraphic entrapment of all, with 78% of Lower Cretaceous fields and discoveries located within stratigraphic and combination traps. Though many of the major discoveries in stratigraphic traps were found serendipitously, there has been relatively little direct exploration for stratigraphic plays. The future of exploration is believed to lie with the search for subtle stratigraphic traps, with perhaps 50% of the UKCS yet-to-find occurring within stratigraphic and combination traps. Deep-water sandstone stratigraphic plays within the syn- and post-rift sequences offer the greatest potential for substantial new resources.


Susan J. Stoker is a principal geologist in the Marine, Coastal and Hydrocarbons Programme of the British Geological Survey in Edinburgh, Scotland. She received a first-class honours degree in geology from the University of Liverpool. Since then, she has been employed for more than 25 years by the British Geological Survey, researching the geology and hydrocarbon prospectivity of the UK Continental Shelf. Most of this work has been carried out under contract to the UK Department of Trade and Industry Energy Resources and Development Unit.

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