The hydrocarbon systems of the Mesozoic, inverted West Netherlands Basin have been analyzed using 2-D forward modelling. Three source rocks are considered in the modelling: Lower Jurassic oil-prone shales, Westphalian gas-prone coal deposits, and Lower Namurian oil-prone shales. The Lower Namurian hydrocarbon system of the basin is discussed for the first time.
According to the modelling results of the Early Jurassic oil system, the oil accumulations were filled just after the main inversion event. Their predicted locations are in agreement with exploration results. Modelling results of the Westphalian gas system, however, show smaller and larger sized accumulations at unexplored locations. The gas reservoirs were filled during the Late Jurassic-Early Cretaceous rifting phase. Results of modelling of the Lower Namurian oil system indicate that gas formed by secondary cracking of the oils can have mixed with the Westphalian coal-derived gas. Such a mixing is inferred from geochemical analyses. The existence of a Lower Namurian hydrocarbon system in the West Netherlands Basin implies that hydrocarbons are possibly trapped in the Westphalian and Namurian successions. These potential traps in the basin have not yet been explored.