Challenges of future exploration within the UK Rockall Basin

Nick Schofield, David Jolley, Simon Holford, Stuart Archer, Douglas Watson, Adrian Hartley, John Howell, David Muirhead, John Underhill, Paul Green

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingPublished conference contribution

23 Citations (Scopus)
10 Downloads (Pure)


The UK Rockall Basin is one of the most under explored areas of the UK Continental Shelf (UKCS) with only 12 exploration wells drilled since 1980. With only one discovery made in 2000 (Benbecula (154/1-1) Gas discovery), the general view of the basin from an exploration viewpoint is not positive. However, over the last 15 years, our knowledge of the petroleum systems of the Atlantic Margin has substantially increased. With the recent acquisition of new seismic data by the UK Government as part of the OGA's Frontiers Basin Research Program, it is a pertinent time to re-examine the prospectivity of the UK Rockall Basin.This paper presents a history of exploration within the UK Rockall Basin, from the first well drilled in the Basin in 1980, to the last well, drilled in 2006. We then present new insights into the lack of success during exploration within the basin, in particular by focussing on the extensive early Cenozoic volcanic rocks within Rockall, to illustrate the wide range of potential interactions with the petroleum system. We also present evidence that points to the potential of a viable intra-basaltic (Rosebank) type play along the eastern flank of the Rockall Basin.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationPetroleum Geology of NW Europe
Subtitle of host publication50 Years of Learning : Proceedings of the 8th Petroleum Geology Conference
EditorsM Bowman, B Levell
Place of PublicationBath
PublisherGeological Society of London
Number of pages20
ISBN (Print)978-1-78620-277-2
Publication statusPublished - 2018
Event8th Petroleum Geology Conference - Queen Elizabeth II Conference Centre, London, United Kingdom
Duration: 28 Sep 201530 Sep 2015

Publication series

NamePetroleum Geology Conference series
PublisherGeological Society, London
ISSN (Print)2047-9921


Conference8th Petroleum Geology Conference
Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom


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