Written by J. R. Allan, S. Q. Sun, and R. Trice
Published by The Geological Society
Sourced from the Special Publications, 254, 57-103, 2006
Copyright: 2006, The Geological Society


Stratigraphic and subtle combination traps have a well-documented track record as significant producing hydrocarbon resources. The majority of these success cases come from onshore USA where unprecedented drilling densities combined with a long history of hydrocarbon exploration provide a large portfolio of stratigraphic and subtle combination traps. By comparing USA-based examples with other global cases it is evident that numerous basins still have the potential for exploration success associated with these traps. This paper attempts to raise the awareness of the exploration potential of stratigraphic and subtle combination traps through four approaches. Firstly, a summary of key global statistics related to stratigraphic and subtle combination traps is provided with the intention of demonstrating that they have historically represented a key hydrocarbon resource. Secondly, a classification scheme is introduced and acts as a reference for the observations and case studies presented. The third component of this paper is to present a range of case studies, which serve to demonstrate the exploration history behind successful discoveries associated with stratigraphic and subtle combination traps. The final component is to consider the general exploration history and from this long experience highlight the key techniques necessary for the development of a successful exploration strategy.

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