M. Harouna1* and R.P. Philp2

1 Université Abdou Moumouni, Faculté des Sciences et Techniques, Département de Géologie, BP 10662 Niamey, Niger.

* corresponding author, email: mharounam@gmail.com

 2 The University of Oklahoma, School of Geology & Geophysics, Norman, Oklahoma, 73019 OK, USA.

Potential source rocks from wells in the Termit Basin, eastern Republic of Niger, have been analysed using standard organic geochemical techniques. Samples included organic-rich shales of Oligocene, Eocene, Paleocene, Maastrichtian, Campanian and Santonian ages. TOC contents of up to 20.26%, Rock Eval S2 values of up to 55.35 mg HC/g rock and HI values of up to 562 mg HC/g TOC suggest that most of the samples analysed have significant oil-generating potential. Kerogen is predominantly Types II, III and II-III.

Biomarker distributions were determined for selected samples. Gas chromatograms are characterized by a predominance of C17 - C21 and C27 – C29 n-alkanes. Hopane distributions are characterized by 22S/(22S+22R) ratios for C32 homohopanes ranging from 0.31 to 0.59. Gammacerane was present in Maastrichtian-Campanian and Santonian samples. Sterane distributions are dominated by C29 steranes which are higher than C27 and C28 homologues.

Biomarker characteristics were combined with other geochemical parameters to interpret the oil-generating potential of the samples, their probable depositional environments and their thermal maturity. Results indicate that the samples were in general deposited in marine to lacustrine environments and contain varying amounts of higher plant or bacterial organic matter. Thermal maturity varies from immature to the main oil generation phase. The results of this study will contribute to an improved understanding of the origin of the hydrocarbons which have been discovered in Niger, Chad and other rift basins in the Central African Rift System.

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