Twenty-four oils produced from the Woodford Shale and overlying Mississippian strata in central Oklahoma were characterized geochemically to determine their possible source(s). The 168 core samples from the Woodford and Mississippian sections of 14 wells in central Oklahoma were initially characterized by total organic carbon (TOC), Rock-Eval, and vitrinite reflectance, and select samples (TOC > 1.0 wt. %) were subjected to biomarker analyses to characterize source input, depositional environment, maturity, and oil-to-source rock correlations. Thermal maturity parameters indicate the Woodford Shale is immature to marginally mature in Payne County, Oklahoma, and shows a progressive increase in maturity toward the southwest. Close to the Nemaha uplift, the Woodford is in the main stage of oil generation. It is proposed that the oils in this area have three possible origins: (1) Oils produced from the Woodford and overlying Mississippian strata have similar fingerprints, suggesting the Woodford Shale and overlying Mississippian strata are in communication; (2) oils produced near the Nemaha uplift (Logan and western Payne Counties) were sourced from the Woodford but had a significant Mississippian source contribution based on source-specific biomarkers; (3) oils east of the Cherokee platform (eastcentral Payne County) share strong Woodford source characteristics, and they were not generated in situ from the immature Woodford Shale but probably migrated from the Woodford Shale in the deeper part of the Anadarko Basin in southern Oklahoma. These results are consistent with the findings that indicate abundant marine coarse-grained biogenic silica (radiolarian-rich) chert facies found in eastcentral Payne County may contribute to good reservoir petrophysical properties, suggesting the Woodford Shale may not be a source in this area but simply a tight reservoir.

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