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AAPG Bulletin


AAPG Bulletin, V. 91, No. 8 (August 2007), P. 1189-1212.

Copyright copy2007. The American Association of Petroleum Geologists. All rights reserved.


Lower Paleozoic petroleum from southern Scandinavia: Implications to a Paleozoic petroleum system offshore southern Norway

Jon H. Pedersen,1 Dag A. Karlsen,2 Nils Spjeldnas,3 Kristian Backer-Owe,4 Jan E. Lie,5 Harald Brunstad6

1Department of Geosciences, University of Oslo, P.B. 1047 Blindern, N-0316 Oslo, Norway; present address: Statoil ASA, N-4035 Stavanger, Norway; [email protected]
2Department of Geosciences, University of Oslo, P.B. 1047 Blindern, N-0316 Oslo, Norway
4Department of Geosciences, University of Oslo, PB. 1047 Blindern, N-0316 Oslo, Norway
5RWE Dea Norway AS, PB. 243 Skoyen, N-2113 Oslo, Norway; present address: EMGS Americas, Houston, Texas 77079
6RWE Dea Norway AS, PB. 243 Skoyen, N-2113 Oslo, Norway; present address: Lundin Norway AS, N-1366 Lysaker, Norway


Petroleum occurring in lower Paleozoic rocks is known to be present in southern Scandinavia, northern Poland, and the Baltic states. Oil has been produced from lower Paleozoic reservoirs in Sweden; northern Poland; and the Baltic countries Lithuania, Latvia, and the Russian exclave area of Kaliningrad. The sources for this petroleum are marine, organic-rich muds deposited in the Cambrian, Ordovician, and Silurian. This article concerns geochemical analysis of oils extracted from sandstones and carbonates from the Norwegian Oslo Graben rift and locations in Sweden and describes, in addition, insoluble bitumens collected from lower Paleozoic rocks in the Oslo Graben, locations in Sweden, and from upper Paleozoic rocks in a Norwegian North Sea well. The oils in this study have several geochemical characteristics shared with oils from the Baltic states and northern Poland, and the maturities of the oils are, in general, low. The occurrences of bitumen and migrated petroleum in the Oslo Graben lead us to believe that petroleum also has been generated and expelled in the related offshore Skagerrak Graben, indicating that a Paleozoic petroleum system operated in the Skagerrak Graben. This potential petroleum system has not suffered the degree of uplift, erosion, and destruction of reservoirs experienced by the onshore Oslo Graben, making preservation of any petroleum accumulations in the Skagerrak Graben more plausible. Although speculative, these considerations should interest anyone involved in petroleum exploration in the Skagerrak and the Norwegian-Danish Basin, not the least because of the proximity of Skagerrak and major energy markets in Europe.

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