About the Project
FULLY FUNDED 3 YEAR PHD
As part of a major new industry funded project within the
Faroe-Shetland Basin (FSB) funded by Siccar Point Energy, Equinor and Ineos Oil and Gas UK, we are seeking an enthusiastic, dynamic,
hardworking and inquisitive individual to undertake a fully funded PhD
(complete with a large analytical budget) to investigate the regional uplift
and exhumation of the Faroe-Shetland Basin, with particular focus on boosting
knowledge to aid in further exploration within the basin.
The NW European margin has experienced a complex
Palaeozoic–Cenozoic history with multiple phases of extension, subsidence and
compression. Knowledge of exhumation and burial associated with these tectonic
events is a fundamental requirement for accurate prediction of hydrocarbon
generation and migration, reservoir quality and seal integrity. Across
sub-basins in the Faroe-Shetland Basin (FSB), margin-wide uplift and exhumation
has been further complicated by multiple tectonic factors, including magmatism,
inversion and regional-scale uplift and tilting, that have resulted in
spatially variable exhumation across sub-basins. Factors such as igneous
overthickening (see Mark et al. 2018) and the formation of volcanic centres
(e.g. Erlend), also acted to cause localised uplift, which imprinted and
interacted with more regional aspects to change basin-floor geometry and
topography creating localized sedimentary depocenters. Together, all the
factors described above have created a very complex geological history of the
FSB which needs to be correctly defined.
The quantitative work calibrating the magnitude of uplift and
thermal history of the FSB has been mainly concentrated within the southern FSB
(e.g. Judd areas) and within the region of the Rona Ridge. In other areas of
the FSB, namely the prospective Corona Ridge, and northern FSB (e.g. Quad 208,
209, 214, 219, 220), the distribution, magnitude and chronology of exhumation,
is still poorly constrained. Within the northern FSB, which was an area which
was hoped to provide a key replenishment to the UKCS future gas
supplies, disappointing well results (e.g. Lyon (208/02-1) and the
Cragganmore appraisal (208/17a-4) have re-emphasised the need to fully
re-evaluate reservoir distribution, sediment pathways and transport into and
within the FSB sub-basins.
The effect of potential deep-seated basement structures, that may have reactivated at various times through the FSB and affected uplift and exhumation, also requires further investigation on a basin wide scale. Debate continues with regard to the presence, or not, of “transfer lineaments” which may cross the basin, and their possible role in sediment supply throughout the Mesozoic to Cenozoic. Additionally, recent work on basement rocks within the FSB has tentatively suggested the potential extension of the Moine Thrust northern splay into the FSB which may eventually cut across the basin in a NE orientation away from the Rona Ridge.
The Energy Transition is an important part of the UK’s future
and the University of Aberdeen is working at the forefront of this transition.
However, even at the most rapid transition, the UK will still need
substantial Oil and Gas production till 2050, to support the transition and
increase energy security by reducing the UK’s reliance on oil and gas imports.
The Faroe-Shetland Basin is likely to form much of the UKCS future oil and gas
reserves needed during this transition period.
The large analytical budget for this PhD project, coupled with
the collection of new analytical data as part of the wider research programme
in which the PhD sits, will enable the PhD student to fully investigate the
existing assumptions on the burial history of the FSB and to identify new
exploration opportunities which can be utilised by industry.
The student will join the Atlantic Margin Research Group in
Aberdeen which has a long track record and is respected in industry for
actively sharing its research and bringing new ideas to the margin. This
group has a vibrant mix of PhD students and Post-Docs who are passionate about
furthering petroleum exploration knowledge within the UK continental shelf and
The student will be based at the University of Aberdeen.
Depending on future COVID restrictions, the chosen student will spend time
during the PhD working at Chemostrat (Wales), University of Adelaide and at
Portsmouth University. These visits will be fully funded by the project at no
cost to the successful applicant.
Individuals with MSc in Petroleum Geoscience (or equivalent)
and/or industry experience are preferred.
Exceptional BSc graduates will also be considered.
CLOSING DATE – 15th of March 2021
To apply, please send a PDF Cover letter and CV to Nick Schofield
Further questions to Nick Schofield [Email Address Removed]
Please note, due to funding constraints this project is open to UK applicants only
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