BURIAL AND MATURATION HISTORY OF THE HEGLIG FIELD AREA, MUGLAD BASIN, SUDAN
* Dept of Geology and Petroleum Geology, Meston Building, Aberdeen University, Aberdeen AB24 3UE.
+ Permanent address: Oil Exploration and Production Authority, Ministry of Energy and Mining, Khartoum, Sudan.
u PR3036 Integrated Interpretation Centre, Exploration and Production Technology, Conoco Inc., Houston, PO Box 2197, TX 77252 2197, USA.
The NW-SE trending Muglad Basin (SW Sudan) is one of a number of Mesozoic basins which together make up the Central African Rift System. Three phases of rifting occurred during the Cretaceous and Tertiary, resulting in the deposition of at least 13 km of sediments in this basin. Commercial hydrocarbons are sourced from the Barremian-Neocomian Sharaf Formation and the Aptian-Albian Abu Gabra Formation.
The Heglig field is located on a NW-SE oriented structural high in the SE of the Muglad Basin, and is the second-largest commercial oil discovery in Sudan. The high is characterised by the presence of rotated fault blocks, and is surrounded by sub-basinal structural lows. We modelled the geohistories of three wells on different fault blocks in the Heglig field (Heglig-2, Barki-1 and Kanga-1) and one well in the Kaikang Trough (May25-1). The models were constrained by measured porosity-depth data and decompaction parameters, calibrated to downhole vitrinite reflectance measurements. Predicted present-day heat flow over this part of the Muglad Basin is about 55 mW/m2. However, a constant heat-flow model with this value did not result in a good fit between calculated vitrinite Ro and measured Ro at the wells studied. Therefore a variable heat-flow model was used; heat flow peaks of 75, 70 and 70 mW/m2 were modelled, these maxima corresponding to the three synrift phases. This model resulted in a better fit between calculated and measured Ro.
The source rock section in the Sharaf and Abu Gabra Formations was modelled for hydrocarbon generation in the four wells. Model results indicate that the present-day oil generation window in the Heglig field area lies at depths of between 2 and 4 km, and that oil and gas generation from the basal unit of the Abu Gabra Formation occurred between about 90 and 55 Ma and from the Sharaf Formation between 120 and 50 Ma. The results suggest that the oils discovered in the area have been generated from a deep, mature as-yet unpenetrated source-rock section, and/or from source rocks in nearby sub- basinal areas.