Geodynamics and Basin Studies

Internal and external forcing factors on the Source-to-Sink infill dynamics of the Lower Mesozoic Greater Barents Sea Basin

PhD Albina Gilmullina

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William Helland-Hansen (UiB), Christian Haug Eide (UiB)



2018 - 2020



The Lower Mesozoic succession represents a prolific reservoir interval in the Barents Sea, and reservoir distribution and reservoir characteristics are among the main risk factors for hydrocarbon exploration in the region. Nevertheless, recent discoveries on the Barents Sea shelf in Norway and Russia have shown that the study interval has proven hydrocarbon plays.

Despite the huge area, the Barents Sea is well explored and a large amount of both well and seismic data are available. These data shows that the Barents Sea Basin experienced extremely high subsidence, variable sediment supply and climate and drainage system changes during the Triassic. Within this PhD project we will combine data from the entire Barents Sea basin and reconstruct the sediment transport networks, quantify sediment delivery through time, and investigate the factors that caused sediment production through time. 

Results of the project will be important for both exploration models and fundamental understanding of reservoirs on a local scale. 

Many studies have focused on the Lower Mesozoic both in Norwegian and Russian parts of the basin, but the distinctive features of the proposed project are 

  1. combining knowledge of both sides over one sedimentary system; 
  2. connect stratigraphic intervals across the formerly disputed marine delineation boundary between Norway and Russia; 
  3. understand the effect of differential basin infill and its implications on reservoir intervals within the basin. 

This is important because most of the external factors affecting the sedimentary system have their origin in the Russian part of the Barents Sea. In order to understand one, we have to study the other. The overarching aim of the project is to increase the success rate of hydrocarbon exploration in Norway and Russia, and help towards increased oil production from new and existing fields by offering insight into the development and characteristics of different reservoir rocks and hydrocarbon plays.


The overarching objective of this project is to study the large-scale infilling history in the Greater Barents Sea Basin through Lower Mesozoic time and understand the relative contributions of different provenance areas and how the basin was affected by external and internal forcing factors. 

Secondary objectives builds on the datasets and analysis used for the primary objective, and include:

1) Correlate stratigraphic intervals across the formerly disputed marine delineation boundary

  1. Determine the provenance and implicitly the reservoir characteristics of different parts of the basin
  2. Assessing the contribution to the sediment budget from different sediment source areas such as Fennoscandia, Ural and Kara area  and understand the significant geodynamic events happening within them, such as the Siberian Traps magmatism and the uplift related to Novaya Zemlya fold and thrust belt.