Mapping hydrocarbon charge-points in the Wessex Basin using seismic, geochemistry and mineral magnetics

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Title: Mapping hydrocarbon charge-points in the Wessex Basin using seismic, geochemistry and mineral magnetics
Authors: Abubakar, R
Muxworthy, A
Fraser, A
Sephton, MA
Watson, JS
Heslop, D
Paterson, G
Southern, P
Item Type: Journal Article
Abstract: This study reports a multidisciplinary approach to determining hydrocarbon charge-points and migration in the Wessex Basin, southern England. Geochemical analysis of reservoir core material (Bridport Sandstone and Inferior Oolite) using gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS), suggests that the oil in the Wessex Basin is from a single source, and that small variations in environmentally sensitive biomarkers are likely due to small differences in maturity or depositional conditions during the formation of the oil over millions of years. Using seismic data, basin modelling revealed two potential hydrocarbon migration pathways from the hanging wall of the Purbeck fault into the Sherwood Sandstone reservoir at Wytch Farm. One of these potential pathways is represented by cores termed Creech and the other Bushey Farm. To try to distinguish between the two potential pathways, cores were studied using mineral magnetic techniques. The magnetic signature was characterised using low-temperature (<50 K) magnetic measurements; this is because much of the magnetic signature was dominated by nanoparticles < 30 nm, which are thermally activated at room temperature and magnetically “transparent”. Wells that contained considerable amounts of hydrocarbons were dominated by nanometric magnetite (<30 nm). Such particles are small enough to migrate with the oil, through pore spaces, which are of the order ~100 nm. Wells located at the fringes of large hydrocarbon accumulation had enhanced pyrrhotite-dominated magnetic signals. Of the two potential migration pathways, the mineral magnetic results suggest that the oil migrated through Creech rather than through Bushey Farm.
Issue Date: 1-Jan-2020
Date of Acceptance: 21-Aug-2019
ISSN: 1873-4073
Publisher: Elsevier
Start Page: 510
End Page: 528
Journal / Book Title: Marine and Petroleum Geology
Volume: 111
Copyright Statement: Crown Copyright © 2019 Published by Elsevier Ltd. This is an open access article under the CC BY license (
Sponsor/Funder: Natural Environment Research Council (NERC)
Funder's Grant Number: NE/J01334X/1
Keywords: 0403 Geology
0404 Geophysics
Publication Status: Published online
Online Publication Date: 2019-08-27
Appears in Collections:Earth Science and Engineering

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