Read and learn more about PhD student Terje Solbakk and his work at NTNU.

 

What is your scientific background? I am a geologist and took my M.Sc. in geology in Bergen in 2006, on the development of karst caves and landscape evolution in a spectacular area called Beiarn, north of Mo i Rana. I’ve been working for the Norwegian Petroleum Directorate for around six and a half years in Stavanger. There I co-authored a scientific article, together with GEUS and good colleague Jon Arne Øverland, on the enigmatic Kvæfjord coal. I also contributed to projects on deep weathering.

Terje Solbakk is a PhD student at NTNU, supervised by Prof.Ståle Johansen. He also collaborates with Prof. Martin Landrø (NTNU), Prof. Karin Andreassen (UiT) and Prof. Snorre Olaussen and Prof. Alvar Braathen (UiO). His project involves cooperation with Stanford University and University of Campinas.

What topics are addressed in your project? I work under the ARCEx task that looks at Geophysical imaging of prospects and reservoirs from field analogues on Svalbard and Greenland. There I will do seismic interpretation and modelling, investigate selected outcrops on land, for example NE-Greenland and Svalbard. The rocks on land gives us walk-in access to the same rocks that are submerged in the Barents sea shelf, or other areas in the Arctic. I would also like to look into modern analogues to the hidden shelf rocks, with the same geologic processes going on today, for example karst landscapes in southern Europe.

 

Conjugated fracture set with secondary karst porosity (the cave passage) in an otherwose tight matrix of Caledonian marble, Northern Norway (Photo: Terje Solbakk).
Conjugated fracture set with secondary karst porosity (the cave passage) in an otherwose tight matrix of Caledonian marble, Northern Norway (Photo: Terje Solbakk).

What are your main expectations/results? Well, I started just a few months ago, so there are not many results to show, yet. I have started with some seismic interpretation of structural highs in the Barents Sea and I have some ideas on working with karst and deep weathering, but we’ll see where the path leads. Our results from interpreting the geology on land will be important for comparing and predicting reservoir rocks under the Arctic seas. I hope to achieve new result and insight that will help to increase the success rate for hydrocarbon exploration, but that maybe also can be important for other issues. I also look forward to meet and work with the colleagues in the ARCEx-project. It’s a huge project!

 

Other things/topics you would like to highlight? The search for hydrocarbons on the Norwegian continental shelf have been focused around sandstone plays (silisiclastics), with one major exception: the chalk fields of the south. But the recent commercial discoveries of 7120/1-3 Gohta and 7220/11-1 Alta, both with proven karst porosity, and the oil in basement discovery 16/1-12 Tellus, nod towards other plays that in the past only been briefly addressed with a well or two, and then the play was abandoned due to lack of success. Such reservoirs are found and produced from in other parts of the world.