S. H. J. Peeters *+, C. R. Geel *, J. Garland # and R. Bouroullec *

* TNO, Netherlands Organisation for Applied Scientific Research, Applied Geosciences, Princetonlaan 6, 3584CB Utrecht, The Netherlands.

# Cambridge Carbonates Ltd, PMJ House, Highlands Rd, Solihull, B90 4ND, UK.

+ Correspondence:

A multidisciplinary approach combining geological mapping based on seismic and well data with petrographic analyses of core and cuttings samples was used to gain a better understanding of the distribution of Upper Permian (Zechstein, Z2) Hauptdolomit platforms and their depositional facies around the Elbow Spit High in the northern Dutch offshore. A detailed understanding of the Hauptdolomit’s lateral facies variability is of great importance for assessing its reservoir potential, since both the thickness and reservoir properties of these carbonate platforms greatly depend on local accommodation within different palaeo-depositional environments. The platforms generally contain the thickest Hauptdolomit sequences and are largely characterised by a mix of oolitic and coated grainstones, as well as by some dolomicrites. Porosities of around 15% are reached at well E02-02 within the grainstone intervals, and interconnectivity between the pores is generally present.

Seismic mapping has indicated a rim of isolated Hauptdolomit platforms, which are up to 10 km wide, around the southern and NW margins of the Elbow Spit High. No Hauptdolomit platforms are present on the NE margin of the High, likely because the palaeo- basin margin was too steep and hence lacked accommodation for carbonate growth. Discoveries made in recent years in the UK sector of the southern North Sea have highlighted the importance of the Hauptdolomit hydrocarbon play, and the results of the current study provide a solid base for assessing the reservoir potential of this play in the relatively underexplored northern part of the Dutch offshore.

Key words: Elbow Spit High, Zechstein Supergroup, Upper Permian, Hauptdolomit, North Sea, The Netherlands, carbonate platform, seismic mapping.

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