Recent discoveries of light oil in Palaeogene reservoirs on the western margin of the Central North Sea have brought a new phase of exploration to an area which was previously considered unprospective, because of the likelihood that any accumulated oil would be biodegraded. Such discoveries highlight the need to better understand migration pathways within the Palaeogene strata of the Central North Sea. In this study, pressure data from 333 wells situated in the Central North Sea have been used to map overpressure variations in all of the major Palaeogene reservoirs, comprising the Palaeocene Maureen Formation Sands, Mey Sandstone Member, Forties Sandstone Member and the Upper Sele Sands, and the Eocene Tay and Caran Sandstone Members. The overpressure distributions confirm the notion that the Palaeocene Forties and Mey reservoirs are laterally draining towards the NW, where these sands are known to thicken and subcrop beneath the Moray Firth. In addition, there is evidence to suggest that the fluids within the Tay Sandstone are laterally draining westwards into the shelfal sands of the Mousa Formation. Over a substantial area of Quad 21, the Forties and Tay sandstones share overpressure values, suggesting good connectivity between the two units.


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