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Bikaner Nagur Basin

Bikaner Nagur Basin

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 1
 No. 1998.169
 Geologic Setting and Petroleum System of Heavy Oil Occurrencesin Sedimentary Basins of India
 P.K. Padhy and Daljit Singh, Oil Natural Gas Corporation, Baroda, India
 Abstract
  Heavy oil, in commercial quantity, has been on production from a linear tectonic belt in the central Cambay Cenozoic rift basin of western India. Recently heavy and nonbiodegraded oil has been discovered from the late Riphean-Vendian stratain Bikaner-Nagaur peripheral foreland basin situated to thenorth west of Indian shield. Heavy oil belt of Mehsana sub-basin of Cambay rift liesclose proximity to the intrabasinal axial high (Mehsana horst)which has undergone synchronous episodic upliftment sinceearly-middle Eocene i.e., deposition of Cambay shale source facies. Occurrence of heavy oil is confined to the pinch-outs of the post rift clastic sequence along the eastern peripheral part of the axial high and in an inversion structure, south-west of  Mehsana horst.Generation and migration of oil of Cambay-Kalol(!) petro-leum system ranges from Miocene onward. Depletion of n-alkanes of the high asphaltic oil, in contrast to the oil of thesurrounding fields, is probably due to mild biodegradation.The stable carbon isotopic study infers that oil is generated  from the source rock of low maturity at an early stage of cat-agenesis.The Pan-African tectonism witnessed deposition of salt-anhydrite, carbonate and sandstone in Bikaner-Nagaur basin,analogous to that of Gulf, Oman petroleum province, alongthe primeval late Proterozoic rift. Oil is originated from lowthermal maturing source rock (Bilara dolomite) within anearly oil window. Early rift sediment (Jodhpur Sandstone)constitutes the primary reservoir facies. Heavy oil deposit of  Bilara-Jodhpur (.) petroleum system is likely to be prevalent along the basement controlled structures.
 Introduction
 Heavy oil play fairways have a selected geographic distribu-tion in Indian sedimentary basins. Since 1971 production of heavy altered oils has been started from the fields of CenozoicCambay rift basin situated in the western India. The moderateimpedance heavy oil is found in the upper Eocene clastic res-ervoirs of north Cambay basin. The intragrabenal rift struc-tural dynamics played an important bearing on the alterationof oil sourced from lower Eocene Cambay shale.Non-biodegraded heavy oil occurrence has been recentlydiscovered from Bikaner-Nagaur basin located in the north-western India. Study on paleogeography and paleotec-tonicset up infers that the basin could be regionally a part of exten-sion of Infracambrian Arabian platform. Interestingly pres-ence of bituminous shale, oil shale had been inferred quitelong back in this part
 
1
 from the Saline range of Infracambrianage.
 Tectono-Stratigraphy of CambayBasin
 Cambay extensional expression is related to the evolution of the western continental margin of Indian plate which is char-acterized by a suite of rift system. The cambay rift initiation(Infrarift stage) took place during early Cretaceous alongNNW-SSE Dharwarian trend and the rift drift transition phaseof Indian plate witnessed volcanic event (late Cretaceous Dec-can Trap eruption) which is attributed to the movement of Indian plate over the Reunion hot spot.
 
2
 The sinusoidal basinpropagation with low angle basin bounding listric fault arraysexhibits influence of oblique tensional/transtensionaldynamics
 
3
 representing a typical half graben style of basingeometry.The asymmetrical rift development is associated with litho-spheric thinning, followed by subsequent reactivation of thepre-existing structural fabric. The 425 km long basin narrowstowards distal part inferring northward diminishment of riftpropagation. The normal geothermal gradient is of the orderof 35
 
°
 C/km with North Cambay basin showing slightly highergradient.The thermotectonics and basin architecture resembleclose to the subcrustal mixed shear model in the basindevelopment
 
3
 .Tectono-stratigraphically the extensional basin segment isdivided into South Cambay basin comprising blocks namelyNarmada, Jambusar-Broach., and North Cambay basin con-sisting blocks such as Cambay-Tarapur, Ahmedabad-Mehsanaand Patan-Sanchor based on apparent change in tectono-depo-sitional style, demarcated by presence of orthogonal compart-mental cross strike faults/canjugate transfer zones across therift tract (Figure 1a). The geology of the basin is extensivelystudied by different workers.
 
4, 5, 6, 7, 8
 
 2Onset of intensified rift propagation coincides concomitantwith the eruption of huge Deccan basalt during upper Creta-ceous time. The basin experienced four episodic rift relatedtectono-depositional systems viz infrarift systems tract, synriftsystems tract, postrift systems tract and late postrift systemstract. The initiation of basin subsidence was emplaced alongthe basin bounding listric/planar normal faults with the uplift-ment of basin margin. Tectonic subsidence along the highangle fault system fairly controlled the basin fill geometrywith distribution of minor-fault population, more intensetowards flexural margin. The basin is characterized by intraba-sinal highs/ridges, oblique to the rift axis. The prominentamong them is the Mehsana horst of Mehsana sub-basin/ block. These intragrabenal highs have strong structural over-print on depositional events corresponding to later part of early Eocene synrift regressive sequence in the north Cambaybasin, Mehsana sub-basin in particular. Tilting of fault blocksand synchronous horsting subsequently caused alteration of oil entrapped in the structure close vicinity to the high.Distinct phase of episodic rift propagation resulted charac-teristic linked tectono-depositional systems, over Deccan trap(acoustic volcanic basement), separated by basin-boundunconformities.The basin witnessed the regional marine trans-gression during early Eocene time depositing Cambay shalesource facies. Extensive middle Eocene sediments weredeposited by the south westerly flowing principle fluvial sys-tem in different tectonic blocks along the topographic lowsduring postrift phase. Ankleshwar formation (South CambayBasin) and Kadi and Kalol formations (North Cambay basin)of middle Eocene age are the main petroliferous stratigraphicunits. The homotaxial equivalent of Younger Cambay Shale of south Cambay basin is characterized by development of threemain regressive units known as Kadi formation (Figure 2) inthe North Cambay basin. Basin-scale transgression prevailedduring late Eocene/early Oligocene time depositing Tarapurshale which constitutes the regional cap rock facies. Towardsthe end of thermal sag stage, the basin experienced reversetectonism, with adjustment of original extensional stress field,resulting forced folding and other anticlinal arching. Thehydrocarbon migration occurred during early Miocene coin-ciding with the terminal phase of basin inversion.
 Mehsana Horst, Its Controlon Depositional Events andHydrocarbons (Heavy Oil)Accumulation
 Geographically the main heavy oil fields (Lanwa, Balol, San-thal, and N.Kadi) constitute as a linear belt (Figure 1B) on thelowside of the fault block to the east of Mehsana Horst.Bechraji field, situated to the south-west of the MehsanaHorst, constitutes a mild inversion structure for entrapment of oil.Mehsana horst constitutes one of the prominent intragrabe-nal positive features in Mehsana sub-basin (Figure 3) separat-ing two half grabens — Warosan low to the east and Bechrajilow to the west. Seismic expression of rift structural style of Mehsana sub-basin exhibits the aggrading reflector close tothe rift shoulder representing the footwall derived sequence of earlyrift stage. The fault — controlled subsidence continuedduring synrift time with rotation of fault block as evident fromthe divergent stratal package towards hanging wall fault plane,to the west of Mehsana horst, thus giving rise to asymmetrygeometric configuration. The gentler dip package of reflectorover the steep ones infers diminishing effect of rotationaleffect with younger events onlapping over it (Figure 3). Thebasin-dip divergent reflectors close to the east of Mehsanahigh during synrift time infers out passing of fault-controlledsubsidence over sediment supply. The fairly lateral continuityof reflector package close to basin-dip is attributed to nearequilibrium condition. The parallel onlapping fill reflectors(Figure 3) constitute the postrift sequence represented byupwarping folded features. Heavy oil entrapment of Lanwa,Balol, Santhal and Bechraji is confined to upwarping struc-ture, resulted during basin inversion period.The deposition of sandstone-shale with strong coalcyclothem during the period of middle to early Eocene timetowards basinal low and uplifted terrace/ramp part is attrib-uted to prevalence of humid climatic condition under theinfluence of relatively slow rate of basin subsidence. TheKalol reservoir facies pinchout on either side against the epi-sodic rise of the Mehsana high.Paleotectonic analysis
 
9
 and crestal thinning of youngerstratigraphic units over the high with downflank thickeningfairly confirm its synchronous upliftment (Figure 4) sinchearly Eocene time due to episodic rejuvenation and rotation of conjugate listric faults. Presence of asphalt filled fractureswithin Cambay shale over the Mehasan high is an indirect evi-dence of contemporaneous upliftment. It remained as positivefeature till late Eocene time and subsequently inundated bybasin wide marine transgression during Oligocene depositingTarapur shale (regional seal rock) over the high.The episodic upliftment imparted a sort of tectonic barrierfor the westerly major paleo run-offs during later part of earlyEocene
 
10, 9
 . Evidently the parallel stratal configuration of con-siderable thickness (primarily sandstone-shale-coal facies of later part of early Eocene) in the east of Mehsana high isclearly seen where as it is poorly present to the west. The prin-ciple fluvial system mainly got restricted to the eastern part byMehsana Horst. Thus it created a two apparently marked tec-tono-sedimentary environment on either side of the horst. Itwas only during later part of middle Eocene (near dormantstage of Mehsana high reactivation) the fluvial system corre-sponding to the upper part of Kalol formation could prevail oneither side of the high depositing sandstone-shale and minorcoal.
 
 3
 Cambay-Kalol(!) PetroleumSystem
 Occurrence of heavy oil is confined to Kalol formation alongthe linear belt close to the east of Mehsana horst and Bechrajified. Cambay Shale of Paleocene -early Eocene represents theprimary source rock (Figure 5), deposited during synrift stageof basin evoluation. Based on an identified unconformitymarker and geochemical characteristics of sediments CambayShale is divided into two members: Older Cambay Shale andYounger Cambay Shale, the latter is characterized by threeprominent deltaic sequences (sandstone-shale-coal) separatedby marine shale. In Mehsana block the thickness of OlderCambay Shale ranges from 200–800m. The organic matter ismainly type-III kerogen and organo facies deposited towardsbasinal axis is characterized by type-II kerogen. TOC in Cam-bay Shale ranges from 2–4%. The burial history analysis (Fig-ure 6) shows onset of oil generation took place since earlyMiocene time. The associated events/processes are depicted inFigure 7. The carbon isotope of aromatics and saturates plot(Figure 8) infers high proportion input of terrestrial organicmatters in the source rock. Hopane and sterane biomarker dis-tribution indicates that the heavy oil belt of Lanwa - Balol —Santhal is abundant of C29 sterane (Figure 9). High ratio of hopane to sterane (11–24) indicates terrestrial sourceorganics
 
11,12
 and in contrast, predominance of C30 steranehomologues in heavy oil of Becharji field (Figure 9) inferslacustrine algal input in the source facies deposited in Bechrajilow. Biomarker fingerprints (Figure 10) of heavy oils showcharacteristics of similar terrestrial source organics. Paleogeothermal gradient of North Cambay basin is 35–50° C/km.The average TOC, S2 and HI value of Cambay shale sectionmet in the well drilled in the basinal part is 3.95, 5.6 and 116,and that of in Bechraji field is 0.9, 0.34, and 35. In the northCambay basin the maximum hydrocarbon generated (HCG) inCambay shale is of the order of 4 million MT/Km.
 
2, 13
 Kadi and Kalol formations represent the principle clasticreservoir facies in Mehsana block. The litho assemblage ischaracterized by sandstone — coal — carbonaceous shalesuite deposited under paludal environment.The heavy oiloccurs at a relatively shallow depth (-800 to -1050mts) and isconfined to the upper part of Kalol formation (Kalol sand-Iand II, Upper Suraj Pay of Wavel member which pinch-outsagainst the Mehsana Horst. The thickness of each payzoneranges from 4–20 mts., porosity and permeability are of theorder of 20–30% and 3–5 darcy.The level of certainty infers the confidence level in oil to aparticular active source rock. GC-MS, carbon isotopic andbiomarker data of oils and source rock extracts
 
11, 12, 14
 fairlyshow presence of good correlation between oil and Cambayshale source rock. Carbon isotopic composition of aromatics(ranges from - 29.4 to -31.6) of heavy oil indicates goodmatch with the value of Cambay source sediments (-26.1 to -29.8) and carbon isotopic ratios saturates versus of aromaticsof heavy oil and rock extracts of Cambay shale show nearsimilarity (Figure 8). The C29R/C30R sterane ratio (1.0-2.3)is well correlated with the higher sterane rich (0.98 - 2.03) of Cambay shale.
 
14
 Also hopane/sterane ratio (11.0-23.4) of heavy oil exhibit close correlation with that of sedimentextracts (8.5-28.3) of Cambay shale.
 
14
 Petroleum Geochemistry ofHeavy Oil: A DegradationalModel
 Oils from the fields (Lanwa, Balol, Santhal, and N. Kadi andBechraji) are asphaltic, heavy (0.93–0.97) and aromatic (Satu-rate: aromatic ratio = 0.57-1.53) in contrast to the oils of thesurrounding fields. The oil occurs at a shallower depth withinthe Kalol formation. Chromatographic signature of these oilsare distinguished by complete absence of n-alkanes (Figure11) with partial absence in the oil of North Kadi field situatedsouth of the elongated homoclinal linear heavy oil belt.
 
11
 Devoid of n-alkanes, reduced isoprenoids and absence of alkylcyclohexanes (Figure 12) indicate the oil might haveundergone biodegradation.
 
15
 Carbon isotopic composition of saturate and aromatic fractions of heavy oil ranges from -31.0to -33.0 and -29.4 to -31.6 respectively.
 
11
 The associated gas,rich in methane (95–99%) and with high ic4/nc4 ratio (4–6), ischaracteristics of thermogenic in nature.
 
16
 The lighter
d
 13c saturates support low maturity of sourcerock. Biomarker study reveals that hopane isomerisation hasreached equilibrium stage
 
11
 inferring generation of oil hasentered the oil window (Ro > 0.55). The low value of C29sterane isomers viz, 20S/20R and
 b/a+b
 shows comparativelylow maturation level of heavy oils
 
12
 and generation of oil froman early catagenetic stage.
 
11
 Absence of n-alkanes does not mean always immaturity.The Kalol oils close to Mehsana Horst is heavy, viscous andasphaltic in nature and GC of the heavy oil pyrolysates resem-bles with that of well preserved oils of the surroundingfields.
 
12
 Hence absence of n-alkanes could be due to biodegra-dation/water-washing.Interestingly the synchronous horsting continues uptoMiocene, predating/contemporaneous with the hydrocarbonmigration time. The uplifted structure slopes southward withgradual diminishing of horsting and it has been observed thatthe degree of alteration of oil increases towards north alongthe linear belt (Figure 13). It has been observed that oil viscos-ity also increases towards north (60 cp in Santhal, 150 cp inBalol and 600 cp Lanwa field). Possibly the upliftment hasestablished an hydrostatic head to drive meteoric water andthere by altering the oil. Presence of thermophillic micro-organisms in the formation water has also been observed
 
12.
 Structurally controlled high relief is characterized by heavyoil in this region. The hydrogeochemistry study
 
17
 has alsoindicated the recharge of meteoric water causing alteration of oil.

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