PRODUCING - 33North German oil fields.2.5 NORTH GERMAN OIL FIELDS2.5.1 GeneralIn the North German Basin oil is generally trapped on salt dome structureswhich have frequently been compared with the fields of the Gulf Coast, Texas andLouisiana, and particularly with the interior salt domes of these states. However,attempts to explore for oil in the North German Basin, by applying Gulf Coastmethods, namely, drilling around the edges of the domes near the salt, have not resulted in outstanding successes. For example, at Nienhagen drilling was startedat the edge of the salt because of the presence of oil seeps. Only gradually wasexploration extended some distance from these seepages and eventually the best pro-duction was developed on a nose about
meters distant from the salt plug.This characteristic of many of the German salt domes has been attributed to twomain periods of uplift separated by an erosion interval—the first uplift duringthe Jurassic, and the second at the end of the Upper Cretaceous. When the domesfirst appeared during the Jurassic they were apparently of considerable extent withrelatively gentle slopes; a comparatively thin section was involved in the upliftand some faulting occurred. As the salt moved in to form the stock, beds over thesalt area, instead of bending, were faulted down. Some of the oil trapped underthese conditions was not removed by erosion when the domes were truncated duringthe Cretaceous. In the next general movement, at the end of the Cretaceous, thesalt rose rapidly, affecting relatively small areas but with greater intensity thanduring the previous uplift. This movement appears to have been too abrupt to influence greatly the accumulation of oil, although together with the regional movements it served to add to the halo of faults and grabens ranging out from the saltcore.In such relatively shallow domes oil may be found in about the areas whereit was trapped originally; that is, in faults at some distance from the salt core.There are, however, in the North German Basin, domes which have retained their deepseated characteristics acquired in Jurassic time; these structures yield more production than the shallow domes and the productive zone is in closer proximity tothe salt. The testing of such deep-seated salt domes appears to form the mostpromising means of developing large oil production in Germany in the future. However,drilling on even the most favorable prospects in the North German Basin represents a highly speculative venture, as each dome presents entirely different problems not only as to the complexity of the structure but also in the up-dip pinch-out of oil horizons.2.5.2 GeologyStratlgraphy«- The geologic section from Permian to Pleistocene, inclusive,ig much the same over northwest Germany and is summarized in the stratigraphic section shown on pages 34and 35
which also shows the producing horizons of variousGerman oil fields.On the map showing the oil regions of Germany (page 26
in about the center ofthe North German Basin there is outlined an area of uplift called the PompeckjSwell. This uplift evidently lies along a northward continuation of the Hercynian-Bohemian massive of central Germany, It has no surface expression but was a landarea from Upper Triassic to Middle Cretaceous (Albian) time. The principal oilproducing horizons of Germany—the Wealden, Malm, Dogger, Lias—were, therefore,not deposited on this arch, nor are these horizons known to occur in that part ofthe basin east of the Pompeckj ridge. They are present in the northwest portionof the basin and in the vicinity of Braunschweig (Brunswick) and Hannover, wherethis stratigraphic section reaches its maximum development.Structure,- In the northwestern part of the North German Basin there is fold-
in the hercynian direction, from southeast to northwest, which started at theend of the Jurassic and received an impetus at the end of the Eocene, at the end ofthe Oligocene at the end of the Miocene and a weak final phase as late as Quaternarv These movements are referred to as the Saxonian orogeny. The folding tookplace between old massives and decreases in intensity from south to north.