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Diagenetic and geochemical studies of the Buchan Formation (Upper Devonian) in the Central North Sea

Tang, Long-Xun; Gluyas, Jon; Jones, Stuart; Bowen, Leon

Diagenetic and geochemical studies of the Buchan Formation (Upper Devonian) in the Central North Sea Thumbnail


Long-Xun Tang

Leon Bowen
Senior Manager (Electron Microscopy)


The Upper Devonian Buchan Formation reservoirs in the UK Central North Sea are litharenite/sublitharenite and were deposited in fluvial–aeolian settings. The grain-coating clays in the aeolian sandstones have effectively inhibited quartz overgrowth. Hence, the reduction of reservoir quality is mainly due to mechanical compaction and early dolomite precipitation in both fluvial and aeolian sandstones; quartz overgrowth and kaolinite illitization in fluvial sandstones; and limited smectite illitization in aeolian sandstones. The carbon/oxygen stable isotopes of dolomite cements suggest a predominantly marine carbon source and precipitation temperatures between 25 and 58 °C indicating a shallow burial depth during dolomite precipitation. The temperatures and the dolomite distribution indicate that the cements originated from the overlying Upper Permian Zechstein carbonates. Extensive quartz overgrowths formed at 80 and 120 °C in the late and deep diagenetic burial history. The most probable silica source was from feldspar kaolinitization and pressure dissolution of quartz grains. Through detailed petrography and geochemical analyses, the burial–paragenesis–thermal history of the Buchan Formation has been constructed. Similar diagenetic processes are likely to have occurred in the Buchan Formation in other parts of the Central and Northern North Sea. This study may allow new petroleum plays to be considered in areas previously thought to have poor hydrocarbon potential.


Tang, L., Gluyas, J., Jones, S., & Bowen, L. (2018). Diagenetic and geochemical studies of the Buchan Formation (Upper Devonian) in the Central North Sea. Petroleum Science, 15(2), 211-229.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Dec 9, 2017
Online Publication Date May 3, 2018
Publication Date May 3, 2018
Deposit Date May 24, 2018
Publicly Available Date May 24, 2018
Journal Petroleum Science
Print ISSN 1672-5107
Electronic ISSN 1995-8226
Publisher KeAi Communications
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 15
Issue 2
Pages 211-229


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© The Author(s) 2018 Open Access This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made.

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