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The AAPG/Datapages Combined Publications Database

Houston Geological Society Bulletin


Houston Geological Society Bulletin, Volume 27, No. 5, January 1985. Pages 3-3.

Abstract: Dutch North Sea


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North Sea exploration commenced with the 1958 discovery of the 70-TCF Groningen Field in northern Holland. Since then, over 20 gas fields and 5 oil fields have been discovered offshore Netherlands.

The major orogenies affecting the Netherlands are Hercynian (Carboniferous), Kimmerian (Jurassic), and Laramide (Tertiary). The London Brabant Massif, Mid-North Sea High, and TExel High have been positive tectonic elements throughout most of geological time. Platforms and basins were formed during the Kimmerian and Laramide by rifting and inversion. Traps are mainly a result of this rifting and inversion or salt moment.

Gas reservoirs range in age from Carboniferous to Triassic and are sourced by Carboniferous coal beds. Jurassic shales are the source rocks for oil produced mainly from Cretaceous sandstones.

Oil and gas are readily sold in the local Dutch market. Oil prices are not regulated and gas is equated on a BTU basis to fuel oil imported into Rotterdam.

The offshore has been divided into blocks of approximately 100,000 acres and the government has the right to acquire a working interest of 50% in new gas end oil discoveries. Bonuses and surface rentals are paid to the government on an acreage basis while a sliding scale royalty is paid on the wellhead value of produced hydrocarbons. A series of taxes, which are creditable against U.S. taxes, gives the government approximately 65% and the licensee 35% of derived income.

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