About This Item

Share This Item

The AAPG/Datapages Combined Publications Database

AAPG Bulletin


AAPG Bulletin, V. 86, No. 1 (January 2002), P. 107-127.

Copyright ©2002. The American Association of Petroleum Geologists. All rights reserved.

Upper Permian as a new play model on the mid-Norwegian continental shelf: Investigated by shallow stratigraphic drilling

T. Bugge,1 J. E. Ringas,2 D. A. Leith,3 G. Mangerud,4 H. M. Weiss,5 T. L. Leith6

1Norsk Hydro ASA, N-9480 Harstad, Norway; email: [email protected]
2Statoil, P.O. Box 273, N-7501 Stjordal, Norway; email: [email protected]
3Statoil, P.O. Box 273, N-7501 Stjordal, Norway; email: [email protected]
4Norsk Hydro Research Centre, N-5020 Bergen, Norway; email: [email protected]
5SINTEF Petroleum Research, N7465 Trondheim, Norway; email: [email protected]
6Statoil Research Centre, Rotvoll, N7005 Trondheim, Norway; email: [email protected]


Tom Bugge received his Ph.D. at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology in 1983. He studied the slope stability on the Norwegian continental margin and discovered the huge submarine Storegga Slide. After working at the Continental Shelf Division of the Norwegian Research Council and at IKU Petroleum Research, Tom worked for the Exploration Department of Saga Petroleum and now Norsk Hydro. His fairly comprehensive published work includes marine and shallow geology and exploration-related geology.

Jan Einar Ringas received his M.Sc. degree at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology in 1982. He worked for Elf Petroleum Norge from 1983 to 1990, first as an exploration geologist and later within reservoir geology. He joined IKU/SINTEF Petroleum Research in 1990 and participated in the seismic mapping of targets for shallow stratigraphic drilling. He continued to work within reservoir geology, and has from 1997 worked as a reservoir staff geologist for Statoil.

Deborah Leith received a B.Sc. degree from the University of Glasgow, Scotland, in 1985, returning to gain an M.Sc. degree from the same university in 1989. She joined IKU/SINTEF Petroleum Research in 1991, where she worked as a sedimentologist on a variety of exploration and reservoir characterization projects. Deborah joined Den norske stats oljeselskap a.s. (Statoil) in 1996, where she currently works as sedimentologist for the Heidrun field.

Gunn Mangerud received her M.Sc. degree from the University of Trondheim, Norway, in 1988 and worked on Paleozoic and Triassic stratigraphy and geology of the Arctic region at IKU Petroleum Research until 1993. In 1993 she began work as a geologist at Norsk Hydro's Research Centre in Bergen, with a main work area in biostratigraphy. Gunn received her Ph.D. on Permian stratigraphy of the Barents Sea from the University of Bergen in 1994. She has since worked on various research and exploration projects, mainly on the Norwegian continental shelf, including a three-year period as a project leader for the New Play Models R&D project. She now works as a section head for the Sedimentology and Stratigraphy Department.

Hermann M. Weiss received a diploma in mineralogy (1979) from the University of Heidelberg, Germany. He worked at KFA Julich on petroleum-geochemical aspects of the West Canada basin and obtained a Ph.D. (1985) from the Institute of Technology (RWTH), Aachen, Germany. He joined IKU/SINTEF Petroleum Research in 1985 and was the geochemist responsible for several of the institute's shallow drilling projects in the Barents Sea, the Norwegian Sea, and the Skagerrak.

Les Leith received an M.Sc. degree in organic geochemistry from the University of Newcastle upon Tyne, England, and a Ph.D. in petroleum engineering from Heriot-Watt University in Scotland. After joining IKU as a geochemist in 1984, Les moved to Statoil's Research Centre in Trondheim in 1998. He has published work on the geochemistry of reservoir cap rocks, North Sea coals, and regional Arctic geochemistry.


All of us worked at IKU Petroleum Research (now SINTEF Petroleum Research) during the shallow stratigraphic drilling project. The project was supported by Mobil Exploration Norway Inc., Norsk Agip a.s., Phillips Petroleum Co. Norway, Statoil, KS Farmand Survey and IKU Petroleum Research. Wolfgang Weitschat studied the macrofossils, Richard Bromley the ichnofacies, and Silvia Pinard the microfossils. Berit Fossum drafted the illustrations. Lars Stemmerik provided valuable comments on the core interpretation, as well as to the manuscript. Flemming G. Christiansen and Howard J. White gave constructive review comments. We acknowledge the above-mentioned persons and companies and our colleagues at IKU for their contributions. Special thanks are due to Odd Ragnar Heum, Statoil/Norsk Hydro, for his persistent belief in the project and his efforts to get it launched.


A 750 m-thick, fully marine succession of sandstones, coarse-grained turbidites, shales, and reworked sabkha sediments has been cored on the eastern margin of the mid-Norwegian shelf. The succession has been dated as Upper Permian-Lower Triassic and is comparable to rocks of the same age exposed onshore East Greenland. These data demonstrate that the marine depositional basin between Greenland and Norway extended much farther east than previously thought.

Reddish, shallow-marine sandstones in the lower 170 m of the cored succession probably represent reworking of older sedimentary rocks present to the east of the drill sites. This suggests that Upper Devonian-Lower Permian sediments were deposited on Caledonian basement east of the present-day limits of the basin.

The cored succession also contains source rocks that can be stratigraphically correlated with the oil-prone source rocks of the Upper Permian Ravnefjeld Formation onshore East Greenland. Some of the cored sandstone intervals were stained with light, nonbiodegraded oil that most likely was sourced from Upper Permian or, alternatively, Lower Triassic mudstones.

Reworked fragments of reef-building organisms in Upper Permian turbidites and Upper Permian carbonates encountered in an exploration well on the Nordland Ridge indicate that carbonate deposition and reef building occurred on structural highs on the Trondelag Platform. The observations from the cored successions are key elements in a new Paleozoic play model on the mid-Norwegian continental shelf and include the first evidence for the existence of an Upper Permian source rock in the area, with Upper Permian carbonates or sandstones or Triassic-Jurassic sandstones as reservoir. (Begin page 108)

Pay-Per-View Purchase Options

The article is available through a document delivery service. Explain these Purchase Options.

Watermarked PDF Document: $14
Open PDF Document: $24

AAPG Member?

Please login with your Member username and password.

Members of AAPG receive access to the full AAPG Bulletin Archives as part of their membership. For more information, contact the AAPG Membership Department at [email protected].