Total is implementing new knowledge on the Lower Cretaceous

Friday 06 Dec 19

Research results delivered by GEUS and Copenhagen University has accelerated the understanding of the Lower Cretaceous layers in the North Sea by providing Total with an improved understanding of the stratigraphic framework and thereby the lateral distribution of the reservoir.

It has been two years since a research programme focusing on improving the oil recovery from the Lower Cretaceous was launched. Now, the first shipment of knowledge is taken onboard by Total in order to increase the understanding of the field called Adda in the North Sea. The results from GEUS and Copenhagen University updates the geological model and was handed over during a workshop at the Total core store in Nordhavn and at the recently held DHRTC Technology Conference (see pictures above).

“The workshop we had was very helpful, accelerating our understanding of the field as Total initiated a new project. The Lower Cretaceous stratigraphy research provides conceptual models that limit alternative interpretations, reducing uncertainty,” says Alexander Calvert, Lead Geophysicist from Total.

The results, that Total has got are part of a DHRTC work on low-permeable reservoirs, which in different ways aim to find ways to improve oil recovery e.g. by improved understanding of the distribution and quality of the reservoir, which ultimately can improve the estimate of producible oil present.


“The collaboration between the many people involved has been excellent all the way through with many touch points and meetings to make sure that we are all on the same track and that learnings are continuously being shared. This has led to the highly useful new insights from GEUS and KU,” says Ulla Hoffmann, programme manager at DHRTC.


Another important research area is the geomechanical, which aim to investigate the amount of compaction ongoing in the reservoir when the oil is being produced since compaction is an important contributor to drive mechanism and thereby the amount of energy present to squeeze the oil out of the reservoir rock.


“Total and DHRTC collaboration is particularly valuable for the Lower Cretaceous. This reservoir layer is more challenging to develop than the Upper Chalk because of its clay content and is less well understood.  The Lower Cretaceous 4D geomechanics research will help us understand when differences between our 4D predictions from reservoir simulation result from material gaps in our reservoir understanding or simply reflect uncertainty in our prediction methods,” explains Alexander Calvert.


See Jon Ineson's poster of the stratigraphic architecture of the Lower Cretaceous Adda Field below.


Stratigraphic architecture of the Lower Cretaceous Adda Field
Press the image for the full version or press here.



The four research hypotheses from the Lower Cretaceous programme and expected Key Deliveries

  • Natural fractures contribute to flow
                Sector model/Field scale fracture model
  • The distribution of reservoir quality can improve the estimate of the amount of oil present
  • Updated OIIP based on improved understanding of reservoir quality and distribution
  • Compaction is an important contributor to drive mechanism
               Geo-mechanical model in 3D, quality controlled against 4D seismic
  • Gas injection can help improve recovery
               Reservoir simulation of conceptual and sector model representative for LCr reservoirs

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