Effects of igneous intrusions on the petroleum system: a review

Kim Senger, John Millett, Sverre Planke, Kei Ogata, Christian Haug Eide, Marte Festøy, Olivier Galland, Dougal A. Jerram

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Igneous intrusions feature in many sedimentary basins where hydrocarbon exploration and production is continuing. Owing to distinct geophysical property contrasts with siliciclastic host rocks (e.g., higher Vp, density and resistivity than host rocks), intrusions can be easily delineated within data sets including seismic and CSEM profiles, provided igneous bodies are larger than the detection limit of the geophysical methods. On the other hand, igneous bodies affect geophysical imaging in volcanic basins. Recent analyses of 3D seismic data, supported by field observations and lab-based experiments, have provided valuable insights into the prevailing geometries of intrusions, i.e. (1) layerdiscordant dykes, (2) layer-parallel sills and (3) saucer-shaped intrusions. Where emplaced, intrusive bodies affect all five principal components of a given petroleum system: (1) charge, (2) migration, (3) reservoir, (4) trap and (5) seal. Magmatic activity may positively or adversely affect any of these individual components, for instance by locally enhancing maturation within regionally immature source rocks, typically 30-250% of the intrusion thickness, or by causing compartmentalization of source and reservoir rocks. Site-specific evaluations, including the timing and duration of the magmatic event are needed to evaluate the overall effect of intrusions on a given sedimentary basin’s petroleum system, and these are highlighted by case studies from different volcanic basins.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)47-56
Number of pages10
JournalFirst Break
Issue number6
Early online date1 Jun 2017
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2017


This contribution is the result of fruitful collaboration between the MIMES, VMAPP, Trias North and ARCEx (project nr. 228107) projects partially funded by the Research Council of Norway and industry partners. Wireline data presented in Figure 4 was accessed through the DISKOS database, made available to the public domain by the Norwegian Petroleum Directorate. Jerram and Planke are partly supported by the Research Council of Norway through its Centre of Excellence funding scheme (project nr. 223272). We would like to sincerely thank Schlumberger Software for the provision of academic licences for the Petrel software, Mark Mulrooney for language editing and two anonymous reviewers for constructive comments.

FundersFunder number
Norges forskningsråd223272


    Dive into the research topics of 'Effects of igneous intrusions on the petroleum system: a review'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

    Cite this