T. K. Al-Ameri*1,   J. Zumberge2 and Z. M. Markarian3

1Department of Geology, College of Science, University of Baghdad, PO Box 47062, Jadriyah, Iraq.

2Geomark Research Ltd, Houston, Texas, USA.

3Departments of Geology, Iraqi Geological Survey, Duhok, North Iraq.

* Author for correspondence: email:  thamer_alameri@yahoo.com

The Lower Miocene Jeribe Formation in northern and NE Iraq is composed principally of dolomitic limestones with typical porosity in the range of 10-24% and mean permeability of 30 mD. The formation serves as a reservoir for oil and gas at the East Baghdad field, gas at Mansuriya, Khashim Ahmar, Pulkhana and Chia Surkh fields, and oil at Injana, Gillabat, Qumar and Jambur. A regional seal is provided by the anhydrites of the Lower Fars (Fat’ha) Formation.

For this study, oil samples from the Jeribe Formation at Jambur oilfield, Oligocene Baba Formation at Baba Dome (Kirkuk field) and Late Cretaceous Tanuma and Khasib Formations at East Baghdad field were analysed in order to investigate their genetic relationships. Graphical presentation of the analytical results (including plots of pristane/nC17 versus phytane/nC18, triangular plots of steranes, tricyclic terpane scatter plots, and graphs of pristane/phytane versus carbon isotope ratio) indicated that the oils belong to a single oil family and are derived from kerogen Types II and III. The oils have undergone minor biodegradation and are of high maturity. They were derived from marine organic matter deposited with carbonate-rich source rocks in suboxic-anoxic settings.

A range of biomarker ratios and parameters including a C28 / C29 sterane ratio of 0.9, an oleanane index of 0.2 and low tricyclic terpane values indicate a Late Jurassic or Early Cretaceous age for the source rocks, and this age is consistent with palynomorph analyses. Potential source rocks are present in the Upper Jurassic – Lower Cretaceous Chia Gara Formation and the Middle Jurassic Sargelu Formation at the Jambur, Pulkhana, Qumar and Mansuriya fields; minor source rock intervals occur in the Balambo and Sarmord Formations. Hydrocarbon generation and expulsion from the Chia Gara Formation was indicated by pyrolysate organic matter, palynofacies type (A), and the maturity of Gleichenidites spores.

Oil migration from the Chia Gara Formation source rocks (and minor oil migration from the Sargelu Formation) into the Jeribe Formation reservoirs took place along steeply-dipping faults which are observed on seismic sections and which cut through the Upper Jurassic Gotnia  Anhydrite seal. Migration is confirmed by the presence of asphalt residues in the Upper Cretaceous Shiranish Formation and by a high migration index (Rock Eval S1 / TOC) in the Chia Gara Formation. These processes and elements together form a Jurassic/Cretaceous – Tertiary petroleum system whose top-seal is the Lower Fars (Fat’ha) Formation anhydrite.

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