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The exploration effort in the Norwegian North Sea is only 15-20 years old. The activity has resulted in several major oil and gas finds. Well data and significant amounts of seismic data have implied a thorough geologic understanding.
In the North Sea basin, the hydrocarbon discoveries to date can be assigned to four main forms of traps.
(1) The extensional structures are characterized by tilted fault blocks, or less commonly, rollover anticlines on the downthrown side of faults. The hydrocarbons occur in sub-unconformity, sandy reservoirs of Triassic to Late Jurassic age. (2) Salt-supported structures generally have fractured Upper Cretaceous-lower Tertiary chalk or Jurassic sandstones as a reservoir. (3) Stratigraphic traps are accentuated by drape, compaction, or late structural movements. Sands of Paleocene-Eocene age represent the main reservoir. (4) Anticlinal closures are related to a late phase of wrench movements. Discoveries of this type occur in the southern part of the basin and represent only a minor part of the proven reserves.
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