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Carboniferous-Rotliegend total petroleum system; description and assessment results summary

January 1, 2004

The Anglo-Dutch Basin and the Northwest German Basin are two of the 76 priority basins assessed by the U.S. Geological Survey World Energy Project. The basins were assessed together because most of the resources occur within a single petroleum system (the Carboniferous-Rotliegend Total Petroleum System) that transcends the combined Anglo-Dutch Basin and Northwest German Basin boundary. The juxtaposition of thermally mature coals and carbonaceous shales of the Carboniferous Coal Measures (source rock), sandstones of the Rotliegend sedimentary systems (reservoir rock), and the Zechstein evaporites (seal) define the total petroleum system (TPS). Three assessment units were defined, based upon technological and geographic (rather than geological) criteria, that subdivide the Carboniferous-Rotliegend Total Petroleum System. These assessment units are (1) the Southern Permian Basin-Offshore Europe Assessment Unit, (2) the Southern Permian Basin Onshore Europe Assessment Unit, and (3) the Southern Permian Basin Onshore United Kingdom Assessment Unit. Although the Carboniferous-Rotliegend Total Petroleum System is one of the most intensely explored volumes of rock in the world, potential remains for undiscovered resources. Undiscovered conventional resources associated with the TPS range from 22 to 184 million barrels of oil, and from 3.6 to 14.9 trillion cubic feet of natural gas. Of these amounts, approximately 62 million barrels of oil and 13 trillion cubic feet of gas are expected in offshore areas, and 26 million barrels of oil and 1.9 trillion cubic feet of gas are predicted in onshore areas.

Citation Information

Publication Year 2003
Title Carboniferous-Rotliegend total petroleum system; description and assessment results summary
DOI 10.3133/b2211
Authors Donald L. Gautier
Publication Type Report
Publication Subtype USGS Numbered Series
Series Title Bulletin
Series Number 2211
Index ID b2211
Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse
USGS Organization