Renate Paulsen joined the ARCEx team in September 2018, and has started on her PhD project with the working title “Trap and seal analysis of the northern Barents Shelf“. Her academic supervisors are Sten-Andreas Grundvåg (UiT) and Kim Senger (UNIS). 

Originally from the southwest coast of Norway, Stavanger, I quickly decided to escape the rain and move further north as soon as I could and came to Tromsø in 2012 to study geology. I decided to spend a couple of years in Bergen to pursue on a Master’s degree, but after just two years I couldn’t stand the rain anymore, and moved back north to finish up my master in marine geology and geophysics at UiT. My master’s thesis focused on mapping the shallow gas accumulations over the Goliat discovery, in SW Hammerfest Basin. The aim was to understand the mechanical behaviour and the dynamic system behind the accumulation and possible leakage from the deeper-seated reservoirs.

My PhD project revolves around trap and seal analysis and characterization of the northern Barents Shelf, more specifically in the “greater Hoop area”. The focus is on cap rock integrity, with an overarching goal of understanding geological risk factors that have influenced seal integrity in a spatial-temporal framework. An important part of the project will be to systematically investigate and compare selected case studies from the Barents Sea in order to understand seal properties and the regional distribution of stratigraphic units with seal capacity. Fault systems, and other possible cap-rock bypass systems will also be investigated. The targeted stratigraphic unit will be the Upper Jurassic – Early Cretaceous successions; the Fuglen and Hekkingen formations, and the Knurr, Kolje and Kolmule formations.

There will be a strong focus on seismic interpretation and to establish a stratigraphic framework as well as seismic facies analysis, analysing pressure and fracture data, and additionally core and geophysical log data. The UNIS CO2-lab will be an important part in these analysis, and there will likely be fieldwork at the east coast of Spitsbergen where we can sample and investigate the exposed stratigraphy.

Nothing beats the feeling of catching your own dinner from the Kayak!

Two days after handing in my master’s thesis I took my dogs and went for a 6 day sled trip to the Swedish/Norwegian highlands in Indre Troms.


Renate Strugstad Paulsen