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Basin and Petroleum System

Basin and Petroleum System

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Sedimentary basins correspond to depressions in the upper parts of the Earth’s crust, generally occupied by a sea or an ocean. These depressions are initiated by geodynamic phenomena often associated with the displacement of lithosphere plates. The basement of the sedimentary basins is formed of crust made up of igneous rocks (granite on the continents and basalt in the oceans). Sedimentary rocks such as clays, sandstones, carbonates or massive salt have accumulated in these basins over geological time. Sedimentation generally involves a process extending over tens of millions of years, at a rate of several millimetres per year on average. Chiefly due to the weight of the deposits, the ongoing geodynamic processes and the accumulation of sediments lead to deformation and progressive sinking of the underlying crust. This accentuates the initial depression, giving rise. To a sedimentary filling that is often many kilometers thick. This deepening of the basin, which is known as subsidence, results from the combined effects of tectonic movements and sedimentary overburden. In extreme cases, subsidence can reach as much as 20 km. The tectonic setting is the premier criterion to distinguish different types of sedimentary basins: 1. Extensional basins occur within or between plates and are associated with increased heat flow due to hot mantle plumes. 2. Collisional basins occur where plates collide, either characterized by subduction of an oceanic plate or continental collision. 3. Transtensional basins occur where plates move in a strike-slip fashion relative to each other. 6.2 EXTENSIONAL BASINS

Rift basins develop in continental crust and constitute the incipient extensional basin type. If the process continues, it will ultimately lead to the development of an ocean basin flanked by passive margins, alternatively an intracratonic basin will form. Rift basins consist of a graben or half graben separated from surrounding horsts by normal faults. They can be filled with both continental and marine deposits. Intracratonic basins develop when rifting ceases, which leads to lithospheric cooling due to reduced heat flow are commonly large but not very deep. EXTENSION • Proto-oceanic troughs form the transitional stage to the development of large ocean basins, and are underlain by incipient oceanic crust. • Passive margins develop on continental margins along the edges of ocean basins; subsidence is caused by lithospheric cooling and sediment loading, and depending on the environmental setting clastic or carbonate facies may dominate. • Ocean basins are dominated by pelagic deposition (biogenic material and clays) in the central parts and turbidities along the margins. SUMMER INTERNSHIP REPORT, ONGC 63

1) showing extensional type of basin.Fig (6. Fig(6.2) Showing Collisional type of basin. these basin formed during the subduction process. SUMMER INTERNSHIP REPORT. ONGC 64 .

and retroarc foreland basins. their fill depends strongly on whether they are intra-oceanic or proximal to a continent. SUMMER INTERNSHIP REPORT. COLLISION • Forearc basins form between the accretionary prism and the volcanic arc and subside entirely due to sediment loading. and the sedimentary fill depends primarily on whether they are intra-oceanic or proximal to a continent. alluvial fans) adjacent to lacustrine or marine deposits. they sometimes form island chains.6. Fig (6. they are commonly filled with coarse facies (e. backarc basins. which typically exhibit a fill from deep marine through shallow marine to continental deposits.3) showing Transtension type of basin and their classifications.g. Collisional types of basins are shown in above figure (6. behind the volcanic arc. like trench basins. Accretionary prisms are ocean sediments that are scraped off the subducting plate. • Backarc basins are extensional basins that may form on the overriding plate. they are commonly filled with continental deposits. ONGC 65 . Lithospheric loading causes the development of peripheral foreland basins. • Continental collision leads to the creation of orogenic (mountain) belts. including trench basins. • Retroarc foreland basins form as a result of lithospheric loading behind a mountainous arc under a compressional regime. • Foreland basins can accumulate exceptionally thick (~10 km) stratigraphic successions.4 TRANSTENSION BASIN Strike-slip basins form in transtensional regimes and are usually relatively small but also deep. Trench basins can be very deep.2).. Several types of sedimentary basins can be formed due to subduction. forearc basins. 6.3 COLLISIONAL BASIN Subduction is a common process at active margins where plates collides and at least one oceanic plate is involved.

evolution. plate tectonics. brines.6. Basin analysis encompasses many topics since it integrates several fields within geology. architecture and fill of a sedimentary basin by examining geological variables associated with the basin. Petroleum System. Purpose of Basin Analysis  Determine the physical chronostratigraphic framework by interpreting sequences. age (chronostratigraphy). Tectonic history . SUMMER INTERNSHIP REPORT. fossil content (biostratigraphy). Prospect generation and evaluation. total subsidence and tectonic subsidence curves on sequence boundaries. It helps the exploration and development of energy. and the effects of thermal changes on these sediments.). It provides a foundation for extrapolating known information into unknown regions in order to predict the nature of the basin where evidence is not available.1 Basin formation and character.  Content. ONGC 66 . • Relate changes in rates of tectonic subsidence curves to plate-tectonic events. age.  Complete tectonostratigraphic analysis including: • Relate major transgressive-regressive facies cycles to tectonic events. etc. kind of basin. Description and correlation of stratigraphic basin fill(sequence stratigraphy). Stratigraphic framework can be expressed in terms of rock type (lithostratigraphy). The Importance of Basin Analysis on Petroleum Industry is Decided By     Geographic location . processes and evolution. well logs.g. A basin model is built on a framework of geological surfaces that are correlated within the basin.4. systems tracts. and parasequences and/or simple sequences on outcrops. That may occur within sedimentary basins.  Construct geohistory. thickness and facies of the sediments of primary petroleum concern. water. and seismic data and age date with high resolution biostratigraphy. Basins fill characteristics.4 BASIN ANALYSIS Basin analysis involves interpretation of the formation. such as the reservoir. mineral and other resources (e. Basin analysis techniques. But it emphasis on evaluation of strata that fill stratigraphic basins. The sedimentary history. cap rock and source beds. Major approaches: • • • • • • 6. or rock properties such as seismic velocity (seismic stratigraphy).

The information generated at various stages may require re-interpretation. stratigraphic. surface geological data. a continuous process carried out in stages. with different geoscientific activities playing their pivotal role during stages of work.4. ONGC 67 . to locate favourable structural. which forms the major part of exploration activity. their distribution in space and time and the potential of the total basin are broadly indicated. Stratigraphic and sedimentological information obtained from wells and Seismic data helps in reconstructing the depositional history and inter relating the structural patterns with sedimentation. Stages of Basin Analysis (i) Initial Stage Analysis During the initial stages of exploration the broad framework of a basin may be worked out with the help of satellite imagery. is the search wit the help of the above exploration model. paleogeomorphic. sub-activities. The detailed scheme of basin analysis encompassing the major activities. Relate magmatism to tectonic subsidence curve. directed towards discovery of hydrocarbons.• • • • 6. Detailed lithological and paleoenvironmental studies. nature of sedimentary fill. With this background. working out depositional systems.2 Assign a cause to tectonically enhanced unconformities. aerial photo. when the tectonic framework. Map tectonostratigraphic units. magnetic and seismic data. paleogeomorphic and other subtle prospects for exploratory drilling. certain associational characteristics of hydrocarbon accumulation. Determine style and orientation of structures with tectonostratigraphic. structural and paleotectonic analysis. due to improvement in techniques or concepts or discovery of new plays in the basin. Basin analysis is thus. structural styles and habitat of oil/gas are better known and more refined and quantitative analysis becomes feasible. From knowledge of the worldwide sedimentary basins. The stratigraphic and record of the basin full is the basis for interpreting the casualties of hydrocarbon generation and accumulation. (ii) Middle Stage Analysis The second stage of basin analysis is reached during the advanced phases of hydrocarbon exploration. geochemical studies and identification of petroleum systems are the key elements at this stage. gravity. (iii) Final Stage Analysis The final stage is basin analysis. it is clear that basin analysis requires a synergistic approach. SUMMER INTERNSHIP REPORT. while the flow chart following it provides a broad overview. This results in a more precise definition of oil and gas generation and accumulation zones and their relationship with the stratigraphic and tectonic settings in various parts of the basin leading to a predictive exploration model.

or more often a portion of a sedimentary basin.5. Fig(6. A petroleum system is a sedimentary basin. higher plants and bacteria that together make up the major part of our planet’s biomass.4) Showing a petroleum system corresponds to a sedimentary basin. reservoir rock. ONGC 68 . where we find all the essential geological and physico-chemical ingredients like source rock. it brings together the geological processes necessary for the formation and accumulation of oil and gas in deposits. It should be noted that this kind of rock.1 Elements of A Petroleum System (i) Source Rock The source rock. combined with progressive burial of the source rock and appropriate migration and trapping of the hydrocarbons. SUMMER INTERNSHIP REPORT. However. This subsidence caused by plate tectonic.5 PETROLEUM SYSTEM Sedimentary basins are the subsiding areas where sediments accumulate to form stratigraphic successions. the organic matter should account for at least 2% of the rock by weight). which is a clayey or carbonate sediment containing a large quantity of organic debris accumulated at the same time as the mineral constituents.6. rich in organic sedimentary matter (for it to be called a source rock. This organic material corresponds to the accumulation of more or less well preserved remains of organic tissues derived from populations of organisms. To allow significant quantities of organic matter to accumulate in a sediment. which combines all the essential structural and sedimentary ingredients: source rock. reservoir rock. is far from common and requires very special conditions. Hydrocarbons formed and entrapped within such sedimentary basins. not all sedimentary basins satisfy the necessary conditions for them to become oil bearing and this is where the concept of a petroleum system comes in. cap rock and trap. or most frequently some part of a basin. Thermal history of the source rock associated with its progressive burial and the appropriate migration of hydrocarbons and their entrapment. 6. In addition. These organisms are essentially planktonic algae. cap rock and trap.

which are also referred to as reservoir rocks. where they are destroyed by chemical (oxidation) or biological (biodegradation) mechanisms. it acts as a petroleum and gas factory. Sedimentary environment must be devoid of oxygen (anoxic). generally made up of porous and permeable rocks. Conditions for Source Rock • • • • The depositional environment must be associated with an eco-system that produces a large amount of biomass (high biological productivity) (Pedersen and Calvert. sedimentary basins which lack intervals with sufficient quantities of organic matter cannot develop oil bearing deposits. to prevent decomposition of the organic matter by aerobic bacteria and consumption by benthic organisms (Demaison and Moore. petroleum products have a lower density than the water completely impregnating the sedimentary rocks). For example. In any case. Rocks rich in organic matter are most often clayey or marly (mixture of clay and limestone). (ii) Reservoir Rocks A system of drains. the cap can be a clayey rock or massive salt. These may take the form of closures around high points. Because of its impermeable character. 1980). of the rock volume. hydrocarbons can encounter flaws in the plumbing. in a way. going hand in hand with the weak circulation of water and anoxic conditions (Huc. in the same way as occurs during accidental oil pollution. This should be combined with a good preservation of the organic matter after the death of the organisms as well as during its incorporation into the sediment. ONGC 69 . (iii) Cap Rock A cap rock must be situated above the drains. 1990). These rocks have porosity ranging from 5 to 25%. the presence of impermeable barriers (breaks SUMMER INTERNSHIP REPORT. The hydrocarbons formed within the source rock are later expelled towards the reservoir. Due to their buoyancy. The absence of cap rocks results in the dispersal of the hydrocarbons in the sedimentary basin and their escape towards the surface. the hydrocarbons migrate towards the surface of the basin along sedimentary beds (in almost all cases. 1988). (iv) Traps During their migration towards the surface. These drains can also be considered as the plumbing of the petroleum system. the cap rock will confine the hydrocarbons to the porous and permeable system within which they are migrating. and even up to 30%. for example due to the fold geometry of an anticline. Hydrocarbons are formed by thermal decomposition of the fossilised organic matter contained within he rock. being fine grained with a low porosity and permeability. Sets of fractures or faults can also act as drains for the hydrocarbons.The source rock is an essential element in the petroleum system since. These properties result from their sedimentation in a low-energy environment.

is partly explained by the contribution of fossil thermal energy and its progressive dissipation over time.in continuity of the drains caused by offsets in the sedimentary succession due to faults) or a deterioration in the drain quality (loss of permeability). These traps are called structural or stratigraphic according to whether their main cause is the deformation of the porous layers (folding or faulting) or lateral variations of porosity and permeability in the sediments. This thermal flux from the Earth is manifested by a progressive increase of temperature with depth in the sediments of about 30°C/km (known as the geothermal gradient). 6.(a) Fault (b) Anticline (c) Unconformity (d) Pinchout. This increase in temperature during the subsidence of the source rock prompts the transformation of part of the organic matter that is present into petroleum and gas.5 Ga ago.2 EVOLUTION OF A PETROLEUM SYSTEM Apart from containing these essential ingredients.5) showing most suitable structure for entrapment of hydrocarbon. ONGC 70 . The increase of temperature with depth. SUMMER INTERNSHIP REPORT. originating from the time of the Earth’s formation during the accretion of planetesimals around 4.5. The remaining contribution comes from the thermal energy released due to the continual decay of radioactive elements naturally present in the Earth’s crust. the petroleum system should be seen as a whole entity functioning in a dynamic framework. This contribution accounts for about a half of the heat flow. which is well known to miners. (a) (b) (a) (d) Fig (6. These situations create zones of accumulation of hydrocarbon bearing fluids that correspond to the deposits from which oil operators can extract crude oils and gases. Over the course of geological time (generally some tens of millions of years) the source rock in a subsiding basin will become buried and its temperature will rise.

SUMMER INTERNSHIP REPORT. this arrival of oil at shallow depth leads to the formation of enormous superficial accumulations impregnating the exposed rocks. a thermal history is required that involves progressive heating up of the source rocks. This corresponds to a kinetic phenomenon that depends on both temperature and time. until they eventually encounter a trap where they can accumulate. with rising temperature. In some cases. Head et al.2003). (ii) Entrapment in Reservoir Rock This is just what happens when a sponge (source rock) is pressed between two porous bricks (surrounding reservoir rocks). The analysis of seepages. These seepages can be found in most of the petroleum provinces which are currently active. The large molecules characterizing the initial solid organic matter are split up into smaller molecules that make up a liquid called petroleum. these molecules are themselves reduced in size. activated by thermal energy. Oils reaching the surface in this way. a difference due to the greater compressibility of the former. leads to the breaking of chemical bonds and the production of chemical species of lower and lower molecular weight. shows). They were exploited throughout Antiquity as a source of bitumen. In such cases. hydrocarbons will occur as the natural localized emanations of oil or gas (seepage. ONGC 71 . thus forming a gas. are altered by bacteria. the hydrocarbons migrate towards the surface of the basin along the drains (secondary migration). as well as by the early explorationists who used them to locate oil deposits. For petroleum to be formed. In fact. This involves a phenomenon of which. Then.(i) Cracking It is described as entering the oil window and then the gas window. 1984. The hydrocarbons formed in this way are expelled from the source rock (primary migration). when they exist. this displacement is governed by the difference in pressure between the source rock and the drains. After expulsion from the source rock. that render the oils very viscous (Connan.. Hydrocarbons will eventually find their way to the surface if they are not held back by the traps or if the cover forms an inadequate seal. still forms part of the panoply of modern-day oil explorationists. or which accumulate at shallow depths.

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