Deep-seated faults and hydrocarbon leakage in the Snøhvit Gas Field, Hammerfest Basin, Southwestern Barents Sea
Peer reviewed, Journal article
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Original versionMarine and Petroleum Geology. 2016, 77 160-178. 10.1016/j.marpetgeo.2016.06.011
High-quality 3D seismic data are used to analyze the history of fault growth and hydrocarbon leakage in the Snøhvit Field, Southwestern Barents Sea. The aim of this work is to evaluate tectonic fracturing as a mechanism driving hydrocarbon leakage in the study area. An integrated approach was used which include seismic interpretation, fault modeling, displacement analysis and multiple seismic attribute analysis. The six major faults in the study area are dip-slip normal faults which are characterized by complex lateral and vertical segmentation. These faults are affected by three main episodes of fault reactivation in the Late Jurassic, Early Cretaceous and Paleocene. Fault reactivation in the study area was mainly through dip-linkage. The throw-distance plots of these representative faults also revealed along-strike linkage and multi-skewed C-type profiles. The faults evolved through polycyclic activity involving both blind propagation and syn-sedimentary activity with their maximum displacements recorded at the reservoir zone. The expansion and growth indices provided evidence for the interaction of the faults with sedimentation throughout their growth history. Soft reflections or hydrocarbon-related high-amplitude anomalies in the study area have negative amplitude, reverse polarity and are generally unconformable with structural reflectors. The interpreted fluid accumulations are spatially located at the upper tips of the major faults and gas chimneys. Four episodes of fluid migration are inferred and are linked to the three phases of fault reactivation and Neogene glaciations. Hydrocarbon leakage in the Snøhvit Gas Field is driven by tectonic fracturing, uplift, and erosion. The interpreted deep-seated faults are the main conduits for shallow hydrocarbon accumulations observed on seismic profiles.