SOURCE ROCK POTENTIAL OF THE UPPER JURASSIC LOWER CRETACEOUS SUCCESSION IN THE SOUTHERN MESOPOTAMIAN BASIN, SOUTHERN IRAQ

Q. Abeed*, A. Alkhafaji** and R. Littke*+

* Institute of Geology and Geochemistry of Petroleum and Coal, RWTH Aachen University, Lochnerstrasse 4-20, D-52056 Aachen, Germany.

** Dept. of Chemistry, College of Science for Women, University of Babylon, Iraq.

+ Corresponding author, email: littke@lek.rwth-aachen.de

This paper reports on the hydrocarbon potential of subsurface samples from the Upper Jurassic Lower Cretaceous succession at the Rumaila (North and South), Zubair, Subba and West Qurna oilfields in southern Iraq. A total of 37 fine-grained core samples of the Sulaiy, Yamama, Ratawi and Zubair Formations from ten wells were analyzed. Contents of organic carbon and sulphur were measured; other analyses included Rock-Eval pyrolysis, optical microscopy in incident light, solvent extraction and gas chromatography of non-aromatic hydrocarbons. The results indicated that the samples from the Cretaceous succession (Yamama, Zubair and Ratawi Formations) are at moderate levels of thermal maturity, whereas samples from the Upper Jurassic Lower Cretaceous Sulaiy Formation are at a stage of thermal maturity beyond peak oil generation. According to the results of this study, the Sulaiy Formation is an excellent highly-mature source rock and it is probably responsible for the generation of large quantities of oil in the study area.

The samples differ with respect to their organic facies and biomarker distribution, indicating that palaeo depositional conditions varied significantly.

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