The Southern Permian Basin Atlas (SPBA) project is a joint project of the Geological Surveys of the United Kingdom, Belgium, Denmark, the Netherlands, Germany and Poland and was initiated by Ken Glennie. The atlas was published in May 2010 in both paper and digital format. The project has been supported by a wide range of petroleum E&P companies, licensing authorities, research institutes and universities.
The atlas celebrates a milestone in the Southern Permian Basin area: the discovery of the Groningen gas field nearly 50 years ago, one of the largest gas fields in Europe. As the Southern Permian Basin gas and oil province continues to mature and with field sizes inevitably decreasing, more and more careful data integration and geoscientific effort will be required to discover new reserves. These efforts will have to be used to augment the recovery of proven hydrocarbon accumulations as well. The large volume of data that is or will be made available publicly allows the production of an authoritative compilation to support the E&P industry in its efforts to fully develop the basin in the coming decades. At the same time, easy and inexpensive access to the accumulated knowledge held by educational bodies will lead to a better understanding of the Southern Permian Basin area and the documentation of this knowledge will assist in the training of the next generation of petroleum geologists.
The atlas aims to present a comprehensive and systematic overview of the results of over 150 years of petroleum exploration and research in the Southern Permian Basin area and stimulate the petroleum E&P industry to continue their activities in this mature basin. It contains a review of the entire Southern Permian Basin area, covering the British, Belgium, Dutch, German, Danish and Polish sectors. The atlas addresses the geological evolution and hydrocarbon potential per stratigraphic interval. The paleogeographic and tectonic evolution is covered within the framework of the principal stratigraphic intervals, from the pre-Cambrian basement to the Holocene. In addition, petroleum generation, migration, trapping and production as well as the history of exploration and licensing in the basin are covered, together with a summary of resource assessments and other potential options for use of the deep subsurface such as gas storage and geothermal energy.