North Sea Central Graben Pressure Study Phase 1


The most authoritative assessment of subsurface pressures in the region illustrating the distribution and impact of overpressure on the North Sea Central Graben petroleum system, with evidence of a significant component of lateral drainage in most reservoirs. The report is focussed on deep HPHT compartments and is based on data released up to 2004.

With increased focus on drilling in the Central North Sea following recent discoveries and revitalised licensing activity, Ikon GeoPressure, the UK’s leading pressure experts and IHS Markit, developers of a unique Formation Pressure database, combined in a joint venture to examine the distribution and impact of overpressure on the North Sea Central Graben petroleum system.

This significant study utilising over 1200 wells and the high quality data used in its compilation provide a comprehensive and authoritative picture of formation pressure distribution, and its causes within the Central Graben, giving valuable calibration to in-house pressure interpretations.


  • Partners
  • Regional insight into hydrocarbon migration and the implications for undiscovered reserves
  • Guidance for well planning decisions based on reservoir pressures
  • Much reduced risk of encountering unexpected pressure values, leading to better control of drilling operations and costs
  • Assess and reduce risk associated with hydrocarbon prospectivity, reservoir connectivity and entrapment
  • Utilise key information to decide whether to acquire or drop acreage in this HPHT region
  • Overpressure values for 791 reservoir points assigned to eight stratigraphic horizons
  • Distribution of overpressure mapped out at seven main horizons (pre-Palaeocene, Palaeocene, Late Cretaceous, Early Cretaceous, Jurassic, Triassic and pre-Triassic), and displayed on a series of map enclosures, coupled with residual maps generated between Andrew and Forties reservoirs (Palaeocene) and Andre and Tor (Palaeocene-Late Cretaceous)
  • Over 70 Late Jurassic overpressure compartments delineated, coupled with a composite structure map of tectonic elements, based on a wide search of published data
  • A map of the pressure differences across compartment boundaries
  • Multi-Well Pressure-Depth plots for each horizon organised by quadrant and structural sub-region
  • Pore pressure and Leak Off Test pressure data are illustrated
  • Five case studies illustrating the main characteristics of overpressure; recognition of hydrodynamic reservoirs, fault seal failure, pressure compartments and leak points

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