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The diversity of hydrocarbon habitat in Russia

CASP, Department of Earth Sciences, University of Cambridge, Downing St, Cambridge, CB2 3EQ, UK (email
ABSTRACT: The setting of the petroleum basins of Russia varies from Precambrian cratons to Tertiary active margins. Four economically and strategically important basins illustrate this diversity. The North Sakhalin Basin is a Tertiary strike-slip basin supplied with OligocenePliocene reservoir sands, and seal- and source-forming mudrocks by the palaeo-Amur delta. Miocene diatomites are additional source rocks. Plio-Pleistocene structuring was crucial to hydrocarbon entrapment. The West Siberia Basin contains identied oil reserves of 60 billion bbl and 1400 tcf gas, respectively 47% of the oil reserves of the CIS and 77% of its gas reserves. The world-class Upper Jurassic Bazhenov source rock and a high impedance entrapment style are the keys to the productivity of the basin. The TimanPechora Basin contains OrdovicianTriassic reservoirs and a major Late Devonian source rock. Hydrocarbon preservation is good despite the basins complex history of subsidence and inversion. On the Siberian Platform in East Siberia 12 billion BOE reserves are sourced, reservoired and sealed by Upper PrecambrianCambrian rocks. Protracted preservation times there reect a stable geological setting. KEYWORDS: North Sakhalin Basin, Siberian Platform, TimanPechora Basin,

S. J. Tull

West Siberia Basin, petroleum systems


Four basins have been selected to illustrate the diversity of hydrocarbon habitat in Russia; the North Sakhalin Basin, the West Siberia Basin, the TimanPechora Basin and the Siberian Platform (Fig. 1). These four basins have been chosen rstly to provide a context for the others in this thematic set. Secondly, they are among the economically and strategically most important basins in Russia; all have attracted considerable interest from western oil companies. The third reason that they have been chosen is that they vary considerably with respect to basin style, from Tertiary active margins to Precambrian cratonic platforms. Previous reviews of the hydrocarbon geology the Russia and other parts of the CIS have focused solely on basin style (e.g. Khain et al. 1991). Basin style has been shown to be of limited utility in rating the petroleum prospectivity of basins (e.g. Demaison & Huizinga 1994). The framework for this review, which is based mainly on primary Russian literature, is the petroleum system. The petroleum system approach permits the identication of all of the elements involved in petroleum accumulation. Moreover, petroleum systems occur on a scale of large parts of basins, or even groups of basins, making the approach ideal for the regional review presented here. Space precludes an assessment of each element of each petroleum system. Instead, the method adopted by Demaison & Huizinga (1994) is used. They identied three critical factors leading to subsurface petroleum accumulation: + Charge factor. A adequate volume of hydrocarbons must be generated by a source rock, either accompanying trap formation or post-dating it. + Migration (drainage) style. Vertical migration contrasts with lateral migration in being more demanding of source
Petroleum Geoscience, Vol. 3 1997, pp. 315325

rock quality, since it drains a smaller area of source rock than does lateral migration. + Entrapment style. A high impedance trapping style results from a regional seal and a moderate to high degree of structural deformation. A low impedance trapping style results from a laterally discontinuous seal, or from a laterally continuous seal and a low degree of structuring.

PETROLEUM SOURCE SYSTEMS The petroleum systems in the chosen basins involve source rocks of RipheanVendian (Late Precambrian), Late Devonian, Late Jurassic and Miocene age. In order to place them in a regional context, the discussion of each basin is prefaced by brief details of others within Russia and other parts of the CIS which have source rocks of the same age (this does not, of course, imply any other similarities with respect to their petroleum systems). Although quantitative data are largely unavailable, the relative importance of Miocene (or Oligocene Miocene), Upper Jurassic and Upper Devonian source rocks to the petroleum prospectivity of the CIS appears to reect global trends of increasing source rock eectivity with time (Klemme & Ulmishek 1991). In contrast, Late Precambrian source rocks are insignicant globally, but of great importance in Russia, owing to the presence of large oil and gas elds on the Siberian Platform. Mid-Cretaceous marine source rocks have contributed a signicant percentage (29%) of global petroleum reserves (Klemme & Ulmishek 1991) and are particularly important in the Tethyan realm. However, Tethyan basins within the CIS contain relatively minor Mid-Cretaceous source rocks. Conversely, the northern West Siberia Basin is the only region where signicant hydrocarbons (gas) are thought to have
1354-0793/97/$10.00 1997 EAGE/Geological Society, London


S. J. Tull

Fig. 1. Location of oil and gas basins discussed in this paper. Those discussed in detail are in large type. MO, Middle Ob region; NBA, Nepa-Botuoba Anteclise; BA, Baykit Anteclise.

been generated from Mid-Cretaceous (Cenomanian) terrestrial source rocks. Note however, that such an origin is controversial (see below). PETROLEUM SYSTEMS INVOLVING OLIGOCENEMIOCENE SOURCE ROCKS Oligocene and Miocene source rocks are of major importance in both the Tethyan and Pacic realms of the CIS. Mountain belt and foredeep development in EoceneOligocene time resulted in the isolation of a series of marginal basins along the northern Tethyan margin (the Paratethyan seaway). Marine isolation led to the deposition of the organic-rich Maykop beds of the South Caspian, Caucasus and Black Sea basins (Korchagina & Zeynalova 1986; Sokolov et al. 1990; Robinson et al. 1996) and the Menilite beds of the Carpathians (Roure & Sassi 1995). The petroleum prospectivity of the North Sakhalin Basin (Pacic realm) is the combined result of Miocene diatomaceous marine source rock deposition and Oligocene Pliocene deltaic sedimentation, which supplied seal/source forming muds to the basin. This basin is discussed further below. The North Sakhalin Basin Sakhalin Island straddles the SakhalinHokkaido fault system (SHFS), the western boundary fault of the North Sakhalin Basin (NSB). Dextral strike-slip movement on this fault system

during Tertiary time was accompanied by Eoceneearly Miocene NWSE transtension (Worall et al. 1996). Early transtensional movement on the SHFS was accompanied by coarse clastic input into the NSB. From Eocene or Oligocene to Pliocene time, the NSB received reservoir-forming sands and source- and seal-forming muds supplied from the west by the palaeo-Amur delta (Fig. 2). Speculatively, deltaic sands supplied from the west were re-directed along the length of the North Sakhalin Basin by components of the SHFS, although there are few published data concerning the dispersal of palaeoAmur sediments. During Miocene time, organic-rich marine diatomites (the Pilskaya Suite) were deposited in much of the basin. This was followed in Late MiocenePliocene time by deposition of the main reservoir sands (the Nutovskaya Suite) (Fig. 3). Early Pliocene NESW transpression resulted in folding and thrusting which generated many of the anticlinal traps in the NSB. Hydrocarbon generation is thought to have been penecontemporaneous with folding and thrusting (Meyerho 1981). Pliocene uplift of the western basin margin was matched by rapid subsidence in the basin interior. Pleistocene extensional or transtensional faulting disrupted a large number of structural traps in the onshore elds, but appears not to have aected the oshore elds to the same extent. Miocene source rockNutovskaya petroleum system North Sakhalin oils exhibit diverse sterane, pristane/phytane, Pr/n-C17 and oleanane/C30 hopane biomarker ratios which

The diversity of hydrocarbon habitat in Russia


Fig. 3. Pre-Quaternary stratigraphy of the North Sakhalin Basin.

sources include Middle Miocene diatomites and marine muds interbedded with the reservoir sands. Non-marine sources include mudstones deposited by the palaeo-Amur delta. Key elements of the petroleum system are: + Evolution of the palaeo-Amur delta (sourcereservoirseal). + Low to high impedance style along the western basin margin and in the basin interior, respectively.
The palaeo-Amur delta. Sand:mud ratios decrease eastwards across

Fig. 2. Map of the North Sakhalin Basin, showing location of oil elds, oil families and sand:mud ratios (partly after Varnavskiy et al. 1990 and Popovich & Kravchenko 1995).

indicate both the presence of oils with dominantly marine sources and others with dominantly terrestrial sources. Some oils represent mixing from multiple sources (Popovich & Kravchenko 1995; Arafyev et al. 1996; Fig. 2). Probable marine

Sakhalin Island into the Okhotsk Sea. Miocene successions along the present eastern coastal strip of Sakhalin have sand:mud ratios of about 1:7. Varnavskiy et al. (1990) regarded this value as optimum for the development of an ecient reservoir/carrier bed system. Oil elds are fewer and smaller further west where higher sand:mud ratios mean that source and seal are absent or of poor quality (Fig. 2). Many onshore elds are fault-controlled; these faults are generally sealing owing to sand:mud juxtaposition or membrane eects. Sand:mud ratio and bed thickness are expected to be critical in the development of juxtaposition seals. Thicker, more muddominated sequences in oshore Sakhalin probably contain better, more marine-inuenced seal/source rocks. Reservoir sands by-passed along feeder channels in the palaeo-Amur delta

may be present oshore. Overpressuring of oshore Tertiary successions may aid trapping of sands in fan or prodelta settings. Background marine sedimentation, particularly during Miocene time, included diatomaceous organic-carbon rich siliceous mudrocks, marls and cherts. Comparisons can be made with the Monterey Formation of California, particularly since the Pilskaya Suite is a fractured self-sourcing reservoir.
Impedance style. Whereas the thrusts and reverse faults controlling

S. J. Tull

the onshore elds in the North Sakhalin Basin appear to be sealing faults, numerous Pleistocene extensional and transtensional faults breach the Pliocene regional claystone seal. As a result, abundant seeps are present in onshore Sakhalin, oils have low gas:oil ratios, are biodegraded, have low API gravities, and are present in under-lled traps (Meyerho 1981; Khalimov et al. 1987). The onshore part of the North Sakhalin Basin therefore has a low impedance trapping style. Structure and trapping style is substantially dierent oshore, for example along the OdoptuPiltun-Astokh trend (Fig. 2), which is formed by a series of open, unfaulted NNWSSE trending anticlines. Rapid Late Pliocene sedimentation at a rate of 500800 m/million year has resulted in overpressuring of mud-dominated successions along the eastern ank of the OdoptuPiltun-Astokh anticline zone. Westward expulsion of uids from these clays has created a series of hydrodynamic traps containing moderately overpressured (to 20% above hydrostatic pressure) reservoirs in which OWCs dip westward and oil pools are displaced down the western anticlinal limbs (Vakhterov & Nikolayev 1991). PETROLEUM SYSTEMS INVOLVING UPPER JURASSIC SOURCE ROCKS In the Tethyan realm, signicant Upper Jurassic (KimmeridgianTithonian) marine source rocks were deposited during the late syn-rift to early post-rift stages in the development of the North Caucasus, Amu-Darya and South Turgay basins (Akramkhodzhayev & Yegamberdyev 1985; Sokolov et al. 1990; Paragulgov et al. 1997). However, it is in the Boreal realm, particularly in the West Siberia Basin, that Upper Jurassic source rocks are most important.

Fig. 4. Distribution of the BazhenovNeocomian petroleum system (outline shown by broken line) in the West Siberia Basin (solid line). Numerous other oil and gas elds are present in the basin. The only elds shown are those with oil-source rock correlation data (from Peters et al. 1994) indicating that the Bazhenov Suite was the source rock. Other source rocks present include LowerMiddle Jurassic mudrocks.

The West Siberia Basin The West Siberia Basin occupies an area of 3.5 106 km2 and contains up to 15 km of mainly clastic sediments. The basin is a sub-symmetrical northward plunging JurassicQuaternary sag overlying a Permo-Triassic rift system. The petroleum geology of the West Siberia Basin is well documented in Russian and western literature (e.g. Kontorovich 1994; Petersen & Clarke 1991) and is summarized in Figs 4 & 5. Although numerous other source and reservoir rocks are present in the basin, the BazhenovNeocomian petroleum system is by far the best known (Peters et al. 1994; Klemme 1994; Fig. 5). It accounts for over 80% of the oil in the basin, much of which is in the Middle Ob region of the central West Siberia Basin (Fig. 1). Gas is the dominant phase in the northern basin, where Neocomian and Cenomanian sandstones are important reservoirs. The Neocomian reservoirs contain gas, condensate and oil derived from the late to post-mature Bazhenov and/or LowerMiddle Jurassic sources (Grace & Hart 1986; Schoell et al. 1997). In total, the Bazhenov Suite is estimated to have generated 200 109 conventionally recoverable BOE (Klemme 1994). Cenomanian reservoirs in the northern basin contain dry gas (C1 98% plus). In some cases, thin biodegraded oil legs are

present as well. At least some of the biodegraded oils in the Cenomanian reservoirs are Bazhenov-sourced (Peters et al. 1994). The source and genesis of the gas is controversial; opinion is divided between thermogenic, biogenic and mixed origins. Proposed sources include Middle Cretaceous coals, the post-mature Bazhenov, or LowerMiddle Jurassic coals (see Grace & Hart 1986 for review). A thermogenic origin for much of the Cenomanian gas is favoured by recently published stable isotope data (Schoell et al. 1997). The BazhenovNeocomian petroleum system Key components of the BazhenovNeocomian petroleum system are: + A world-class source rock the Bazhenov Suite. + Carrier bed/reservoir-seal couplets formed by regressive sandstones and transgressive mudrocks. + High degree of trap integrity owing to limited fault disruption of the regional seal.
The Bazhenov source rock. Total organic carbon (TOC) contents of over 10%, hydrogen index values in the range 400500 HC/g

The diversity of hydrocarbon habitat in Russia


Trap integrity. The majority of Neocomian reservoirs have been drilled on anticlinal closures. These structures are thought to have been generated in response to movement on basementinvolving faults, or to dierential compaction above basement blocks (Petersen & Clarke 1991). The main phase of growth of these structures in the oil-dominated central parts of the basin was in Early Cretaceous time (Grace & Hart 1986). Their NS and NESW structural trends are not observed on the base Aptian seismic reector (Petersen & Clark 1991), suggesting relatively limited tectonism occurred subsequent to the deposition of the middlelate Aptian regional seal. The combination of a high SPI source rock, moderate structuring, and the alternation of transgressive mudrocks and regressive sandstones which focus migration away from the source kitchens has produced a supercharged, dominantly laterally drained and high impedance petroleum system (Demaison & Huizinga 1994). Loss of hydrocarbons from the system arise from cross-seal vertical migration, as a result of biodegradation and as a result of cracking of oil to gas (Klemme 1994; Peters et al. 1994; Macgregor 1996).


Fig. 5. Pre-Tertiary stratigraphy of the West Siberia Basin. Stratigraphy is based on the Middle Ob region. See Fig. 3 for key.

TOC, and the almost total dominance of amorphous algal- or bacterial-derived organic matter (AOM) indicate that the Bazhenov is an excellent, oil-prone source rock (Kontorovich et al. 1997a, this issue). The Source Potential Index (SPI) was estimated as 8 t HC/m2 by Demaison & Huizinga (1994). The bulls-eye distributional pattern of organic carbon shown by the Bazhenov, with the highest values in the deepest parts of the basin (Kontorovich et al. 1997a, this issue) suggests preferential organic matter preservation under anoxic conditions in basin lows. Other evidence points to high bioproductivity as being a major control on TOC content. Biogenic silica is most abundant in the basin centre and the organic matter is hydrogen- and petroporphyrin-rich (600010 000 ppm). An impoverished benthic macrofauna and the presence of sh, cephalopods and reptiles are also indicative of high bioproductivity. The presence of glauconite in shallow-marine equivalents of the Bazhenov Suite (Petersen & Clarke 1991) is consistent with a high ux of organic particles to the seabed (Parrish 1995).
Carrier bed/reservoir-seal couplets. Lower Cretaceous sandstones are the major oil reservoirs in the Middle Ob region. More than 30 Neocomian reservoirs units are associated with a westward prograding system of uvio-deltaic, shallow shelf, shelf edge and turbiditic sediment packages. Reservoir quality is generally greatest where detrital clays were winnowed in high-energy depositional settings (Petersen & Clarke 1991). Carbonate cementation and feldspar dissolution are important controls on reservoir quality (Clark-Lowes et al. 1996; James 1996). The reservoirs are separated by transgressive mudrocks which act as intra-formational seals. Together, the reservoir-seal couplets focus petroleum migration mainly away from the source kitchens, although fracturing of the seals has resulted in vertical leakage and the formation of multiple-reservoir elds.

Widespread lithospheric extension on the Russian Platform in Middle Devonian to Early Carboniferous time (Lobkovsky et al. 1996) was accompanied by the deposition of bituminous mudrocks, carbonates and cherts over an area of 700 000 km2 (Oknova 1992). This facies association is widely referred to in the Russian literature as the domanik facies. The term is used broadly for clastic sediment-starved potential source rocks, irrespective of precise age, or depositional setting. The underlying controls on organic carbon content of the Late Devonian organic-rich sediments of the Russian Platform were high sea-level variously coupled with the development of silled anoxic basins and/or upwelling (Ormiston & Oglesby 1995). The domanik facies is known or strongly suspected to be an important source rock in the TimanPechora, VolgaUrals, DnieperPripyat and PriCaspian basins (Ulmishek 1988; Fig. 1). The TimanPechora Basin has been chosen for the purposes of illustration, since it is relatively poorly documented in the western literature.

TimanPechora Basin The TimanPechora Basin is an inverted continental margin rift which was on the eastern margin of Baltica during Ordovician Permian time. Multiple phases of graben formation and localized inversion occurred along NNWSSE faults during OrdovicianDevonian time. The grabens dened by these faults are the major Palaeozoic depocentres in the basin. Broad basement arches between the rifts underwent less subsidence and have thinner sedimentary cover. Regional inversion and foreland basin development along the eastern margin of the basin, occurred during the Late PermianEarly Jurassic Uralian Orogeny. Post-inversion subsidence was relatively limited; post-Uralian sediments consist of northward-dipping marine sediments which are thin up-dip representatives of much thicker Mesozoic sediments that were deposited in the South Barents Basin. Cenozoic uplift occurred throughout the basin, owing either to crustal shortening in the Urals (Sobornov & Tarasov 1996), or to thermal/isostatic uplift (Macgregor 1996).


S. J. Tull

Fig. 6. Pre-Jurassic stratigraphy of the TimanPechora Basin. See Fig. 3 for key.

The Domanik petroleum system In the absence of precise oil-source rock correlation data, the Domanik petroleum system of the TimanPechora Basin can only be dened hypothetically. The early Frasnian (Late Devonian) Domanik Suite probably sourced most of the hydrocarbons reservoired in Middle Devonian sandstones, CarboniferousLower Permian carbonates and Upper PermianTriassic sandstones (Fig. 6). It should be noted that the inclusion of Middle Devonian reservoirs in the Domanik petroleum system, as suggested by Ulmishek (1982, 1988), is contentious. Many Russian geologists have rejected the Domanik Suite as the source for Middle Devonian reservoired oil and gas, since reservoir and source are separated by an upper Middle Devonian regional seal (Yakubson 1983; Pankina et al. 1986). Oil biomarkers from almost all Middle DevonianTriassic reservoirs suggest a genetically similar Palaeozoic marine source rock deposited under anoxic conditions (Matveyeva et al. 1994, Requejo et al. 1995). The Domanik Suite is of regional exent in the TimanPechora Basin. Other potential source rocks apart from the Domanik Suite may be locally important. They include oil-prone Middle Devonian mudrocks but gas-prone Visan (Lower Carboniferous) shales and Artinskian (Lower Permian) shales (Dedeyev et al. 1991). Lower Palaeozoic source rock(s)

Fig. 7. Map of the TimanPechora Basin, showing maximum extent of the Domanik Suite (source rock). The strong spatial relationship between oil elds and the distribution of the Domanik Suite suggests a dominantly vertical migration pattern, except along the ShapkinaYuryakhinskiy swell (SYS). Other source rocks are present in the basin (see text and Fig. 6), but are only locally distributed. Other abbreviations: KhD, Khoreyverskaya depression; KS, Kolvinskiy megaswell; PKh, PechoroKozhvinskiy megaswell; SS, Sorokin swell; SK, Severnyy Khosedyu eld; Ti, Titova eld; To, Toravey eld; Us, Usinskoye eld; V, Vuktylskoye eld; Va, Varandey eld; VAZ, VarandeyAdzvinskaya zone; ZS, ZapadnoSoplesskoye eld. Together, the SYS, PKH and KS make up the PechoroKolvinskaya rift zone.

are also present in the NE of the basin and sourced hydrocarbons that are present in pre-Middle Devonian reservoirs (Pairazian 1993; Requejo et al. 1995). Key components of the Domanik petroleum system are: + A high quality oil-prone source rock of near basin-wide extent the Domanik Suite. + Inecient seals disrupted by faults which permit migration between multiple Middle DevonianTriassic reservoirs. + Regional inversion mainly during the Uralian orogeny which generated anticlinal traps.
The Domanik source rock. The domanik source rock was deposited

in a series of barred intra-platform and inter-reef sub-basins and at its maximum extent in early Frasnian time occupied much of eastern and northeastern TimanPechora (Fig. 7).

The diversity of hydrocarbon habitat in Russia


Fig. 8. Reservoir pressure distribution with depth in the TimanPechora Basin to the north of 67 N. Note that overpressuring appears to be conned to the sub-Kynovskiy reservoirs (Middle Devonian and older) in the Pechoro Kolvinskaya rift zone (PKR) and VarandeyAdzvinskaya zone (VAZ). Sub-Kynovskiy reservoirs in the Khoreyverskaya depression (KhD) are hydropressured. Hfw, Hydrostatic pressure for freshwater; Hb, hydrostatic pressure for brine; L, Lithostatic pressure. See Fig. 7 for localities.

Total organic carbon contents are variable to high, commonly reaching 1015%, with some oil shales present with 20% plus TOC. The palynofacies are strongly AOM-dominated, hydrogen index values are mostly well over 400 mg HC/gTOC and H/C ratios are in the 1.01.5 range for even peak mature samples. The high organic carbon contents and high hydrogen contents of the organic matter are inferred to be the result of upwelling and high bioproductivity (Ormiston & Oglesby 1995). Organic matter from the Domanik Suite of the TimanPechora and VolgaUrals basins is rich in petroporphyrins (Goldberg et al. 1986), a characteristic of high bioproductivity (Hudson & Martill 1991). The western limit of the petroleum system is controlled by the maximum up-dip extent of the Domanik Suite in Early Frasnian time. Its northern limit is unknown; it has not been drilled oshore but most probably extends into the Pechora Sea towards Novaya Zemlya, where similar organic-rich facies accumulated in inter-platform lows along the present western margin of the archipelago.
Seals. Two regional to sub-regional seals have been identied in

rift zones (Fig. 8), suggesting that the faults along the rift zones form lateral seals. Some of the faults controlling these structures have acted as uid migration pathways. In the Zapadno Soplesskoye eld (Fig. 7), bitumen- and mineral-lled fractures extend upwards to connect Upper Devonian to Upper Permian reservoirs (Kushnareva 1971). Thus, some fault zones may have at times acted as uid migration pathways and at others as barriers to migration (cf. Demaison & Huizinga 1994). A number of lines of evidence indicates that there is, or has been, leakage across the KynovskiySargayevskiy seal. Local hydraulic connection across the sealing sequence is suggested by close geochemical similarities between oils from Upper Devonian and Silurian reservoirs in the A. Titova and Severnyy Khosedyu elds (Semenovich et al. 1994). Trap leakage is also suggested by the almost universal absence of gasoline range hydrocarbons from TimanPechora oils (Requejo et al. 1995). A causal relationship may exist between trap leakage and overpressuring (cf. Kuo 1997).

the TimanPechora Basin. These are Kynovskiy-Sargayevskiy mudrocks (uppermost Middle Devonianlowermost Upper Devonian), and Artinskian and Kungurian (Lower Permian) sulphates and mudrocks (Menner 1989). Variations in lithology, thickness and fault disruption are such that entrapment style due to the Lower Permian seal(s) varies from high to low impedance. Thus, in the 3.8 billion BOE Vuktylskoye gas condensate eld in the outer Urals fold-and-thrust belt of SE TimanPechora, a 140 m Kungurian sulphate seal supports a 1400 m hydrocarbon column. Further north and west, the ArtinskianKungurian succession is dominated by laterally variable mudrocks and siltstones. These commonly provide low eectivity seals, for example the Lower Permian trap in the Usinskoye eld is underlled (trap ll 37%) and contains 15 API oil, numerous bitumen shows occur within the Upper Permian seal and hydrocarbons have migrated into overlying Permo-Triassic sandstones (Larskaya et al. 1989). The KynovskiySargayevskiy seal divides the Timan Pechora Basin into a basin-wide hydropressured compartment and a number of underlying overpressured compartments. Overpressuring appears to be conned to the structures along the inverted PechoroKolvinskaya and VarandeyAdzvinskaya

Uralian tectonism and the formation of structural traps. Structural trap development as a result of rift inversion mainly occurred in Late PermianTriassic time and was penecontemporaneous with the main phase of hydrocarbon generation and migration (Dedeyev et al. 1986; Pairazian 1993). Inversion occurred across the whole of the basin, with rifts undergoing more intense inversion than inter-rift blocks. Anticlines which developed up to 500 km west of the Uralian deformation front, for example along the Kolvinskiy megaswell, are open, weakly faulted structures which control large oil and gas elds such as Usinskoye (3.1 billion BOE). Along the PechoroKozhvinskiy megaswell (Fig. 7), which is closer to the Uralian front, structures are smaller, more faulted and trap relatively small elds (see Banks et al. 1997, this issue). Structural inversion is not critical in all cases some Middle Devonian reservoirs, for example along the Kolvinskiy megaswell are in stratigraphic traps. Basin inversion as a result of Cenozoic neotectonic uplift and exhumation has been suggested to have resulted in a drop in reservoir pressures and temperatures, leading to gas ex-solution, gas cap expansion and lateral trap spillage (Bogatsky & Pankratov 1993; Macgregor 1996). Signicant departures are observed from the typical increase in oil API with depth (Fig. 9), and according to Dedeyev et al. (1986), the distribution


S. J. Tull

Fig. 9. Oil density versus depth relationship for TimanPechora oils and gas condensates. Data are from north of 67 N. Data are plotted by reservoir age. SilurianLower Devonian reservoirs represent part of a separate petroleum system from the Domanik-sourced Middle Devonian and younger reservoirs. Normal decrease of oil density with depth is modied by post-accumulation processes including biodegradation, water-washing, evaporitive fractionation and oilgas cracking.

of hydrocarbons in the TimanPechora Basin is 6080% due to neotectonism. In summary, the Domanik petroleum system of the Timan Pechora Basin is dominated by vertical hydrocarbon migration and has a low to high impedance style. Low recovery of generated hydrocarbons may be expected from the stratigraphic separation of source and main reservoirs (cf. Klemme 1994), leaking seals and multiple phases of basin inversion. On the positive side, much of the re-migration of hydrocarbons may have occurred relatively late in basin history oileld ages may be much younger than those predicted by basin modelling. Moreover, reservoirs which can trap re-migrated hydrocarbons are present over a wide stratigraphic range, from the Middle Devonian to Triassic. PETROLEUM SYSTEMS INVOLVING UPPER PRECAMBRIAN SOURCE ROCKS Continental separation of Laurentia, Siberia, Baltica, and various Gondwanan blocks at the transition from Late Precambrian to Cambrian time resulted in global sea-level rise and the ooding of the stable cratons by nutrient-enriched waters, leading to high bioproductivity and source rock deposition (Kontorovich et al. 1996). Thus, oils from North China, Oman, the MacArthur Basin (Australia), European Russia and East Siberia are known or strongly inferred to have Late Precambrian source rocks on the basis of their distinctive biomarker and stable isotope geochemistries (Hao & Zhang 1988; Summons 1992; Sokolov et al. 1994; Kontorovich et al. 1996). The Siberian Platform Approximately 50 oil and gas elds have been discovered in PrecambrianCambrian rocks on the Siberian Platform, East

Siberia (Fig. 10). The region is under-explored, yet these elds alone contain estimated discovered reserves of 40 tcf gas and 6 billion bbl liquids (Robertson 1997), indicating that Upper Precambrian source rocks have provided substantially more than the 0.2% (or 4.5 billion BOE) of the worlds original petroleum reserves estimated by Klemme & Ulmishek (1991). At least two petroleum systems involving Upper Precambrian source rocks are present on structural highs in the south of the platform, one with Riphean source rocks on the Baykit anteclise, the other on the NepaBotuoba anteclise with probable VendianCambrian source rocks (Fig. 11). On the Baykit Anteclise, Riphean sediments were deposited as mainly shallow-shelf carbonates, which pass westwards into basinal clastics. Reservoirs are formed by fracturing and karstication of stromatolitic and detrital dolostones, sealed unconformably by Vendian mudrocks and by Lower Cambrian salt. Source rocks consist of laminated mudrocks and carbonates with up to 5% TOC deposited in lagoonal and basinal settings in and around the Baykit carbonate shelf (Kontorovich et al. 1996). Timing of generation, migration and accumulation is poorly constrained, but maximum burial was in Late CambrianEarly Ordovician time and the onset of hydrocarbon generation was probably in Late Precambrian time. Riphean sediments are largely absent from the Nepa Botuoba anteclise (NBA), and crystalline basement is overlain by a NW onlapping series of EarlyMiddle Vendian sandstones and mudrocks and Late VendianCambrian carbonates and evaporites. The major reservoirs are shallow-marine wedgebase sandstones; interbedded mudrocks form intra-formational seals. Carbonates, including Cambrian reefs, are also reservoirs. The regional seal, as on the Baykit Anteclise, is formed by Lower Cambrian salt. Riphean basinal mudrocks deposited in lows surrounding the NBA have been suggested as a possible source of Vendian-reservoired oils, however their chemistry suggests a VendianCambrian carbonate/evaporite source is more likely (Summons 1992). Maximum burial of the Upper

The diversity of hydrocarbon habitat in Russia


Fig. 10. Map of the Siberian Platform, showing distribution of main oilgas elds, of Cambrian salt (the regional topseal for Upper PrecambrianLower Cambrian petroleum systems), and of Permo-Triassic magmatism.

Fig. 11. Upper PrecambrianCambrian stratigraphy of the Siberian Platform, including the Baykit Anteclise (BA) and NepaBotuoba Anteclise (NBA).

Precambrian succession was in the Cambrian to Ordovician and the timing of hydrocarbon generation was probably broadly the same as in the Baykit region. Thus, although poorly constrained, the timing of hydrocarbon generation and migration suggests oileld ages which are an order of magnitude larger than median values calculated from global datasets (Macgregor 1996). In other cases where Palaeozoic-sourced hydrocarbons have been preserved, for example in the North African cratonic basins, it is often as the result of Mesozoic or younger generation and migration, but this does not appear to be the case here. The exceptionally long preservation times shown by the East Siberian oils are a function of entrapment style and the post-accumulation history of the Siberian Platform. Entrapment style Most traps are either stratigraphic or a combination of stratigraphic and structural traps. A major factor in the ecient trapping style, particularly on the NBA, is the presence of a thick regional salt topseal of Early Cambrian age. Early Cambrian salt with thicknesses of a few hundred metres to over 1500 m was deposited throughout the southern and western Siberian Platform (Fig. 10). Few of the faults which aect the sub-salt sequence have breached the topseal or deformed the post-salt sequence. Post-accumulation history The Siberian Platform has heat ow values of 0.96 HFU and has been a stable cratonic block since Cambro-Ordovician time. Limited subsidence has occurred, at least in the areas of the

Baykit and Nepa-Botuoba anteclises. Thermal gradients are typically in the 515 C km 1 range and reservoir temperatures of less than 20 C are typical. The Permo-Triassic igneous activity which has largely destroyed Palaeozoic hydrocarbon accumulations in the NE Siberian Platform (Kontorovich et al. 1997b, this issue), extended southwards into the Baykit and NepaBotuoba regions (Fig. 10), but had much less eect than further north. CONCLUSIONS The North Sakhalin, West Siberia, TimanPechora and Siberian Platform basins illustrate the great diversity of oil and gas basins of Russia. Their petroleum systems have ages spanning 1000 Ma, involving source rocks of Late Precambrian to Tertiary age (Fig. 12). Late Precambrian, Late Devonian and Late Jurassic source rock deposition accompanied major phases of crustal extension. Late Precambrian and Late Devonian source rock deposition occurred mainly on continental blocks which were at low palaeolatitudes. In contrast, Late Jurassic source rocks accumulated at both low latitudes (the Tethyan realm, e.g. the AmuDarya Basin) and high latitudes (the Boreal realm, e.g. the West Siberia Basin). OligoceneMiocene source rocks are also widespread and are associated with marine regression in the Tethyan realm, and with marine upwelling and the supply of terrestrial organic matter in the Pacic realm. In the North Sakhalin Basin and on the Siberian Platform, source and reservoir rocks are interbedded with each other, an arrangement that provides a relatively ecient generation and accumulation plumbing mechanism. In the West Siberia Basin, and particularly in the TimanPechora Basin, generation migration eciency are adversely aected by the stratigraphic separation of source and reservoir.


S. J. Tull

Fig. 12. Petroleum systems events charts. GMA, Generation, migration and accumulation. Chronostratigraphic abbreviations from Harland et al. (1990).

The West Siberia Basin and Siberian Platform both have petroleum systems with high impedance trapping styles, this is particularly important in the latter where preservation times are of the order of 500 Ma. Both the North Sakhalin and Timan Pechora basins have variable to high impedance trapping styles. In the North Sakhalin Basin, trap breaching has resulted in extensive surface seepages, but in TimanPechora re-migrated hydrocarbons have commonly migrated into younger reservoirs and seepages are less abundant.
The author has beneted greatly from working with numerous Russian colleagues, and in particular wishes to thank V. A. Astashkin, O. K. Bazhenova, T. K. Bazhenova, V. A. Chakhmakhchev, V. F. Kuprin, V. Vl. Menner, A. Yu Rozanov, and K. O. Sobornov. The manuscript has been improved by comments by D. I. M. Macdonald (Cambridge Arctic Shelf Programme), A. M. Spencer (Statoil) and two anonymous reviewers, however any errors and omissions are entirely the authors. The Cambridge Arctic Shelf Programme is funded by the oil industry. The support of Anadarko, Arco, BP, Conoco, Exxon, JNOC, Mobil, Norsk Petroleum Directorate, Nippon Oil, Phillips and Texaco is gratefully acknowledged. This is Cambridge University Earth Sciences Contribution No. 4975.

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Received 12 June 1997; revised typescript accepted 7 July 1997