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Durham University

Department of Earth Sciences


Publication details for Dr Stuart Jones

Tang, Long-Xun, Gluyas, Jon, Jones, Stuart & Bowen, Leon (2018). Diagenetic and geochemical studies of the Buchan Formation (Upper Devonian) in the Central North Sea. Petroleum Science 15(2): 211-229.

Author(s) from Durham


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.