Heavy, sulfur-rich oil produced from the Infracambrian (540–640 Ma) Jodhpur Formation in the Baghewala-1 well represents a new exploration play in the Bikaner-Nagaur basin in India and the Punjab basin in Pakistan. The Baghewala-1 oil is nonbiodegraded, and thermal-maturation-dependent biomarker ratios indicate generation from the source rock within the early oil window. Age-diagnostic and source-dependent biomarkers indicate that the oil originated from algal and bacterial organic matter with no higher plant input in an Infracambrian, carbonate-rich source rock deposited under anoxic marine conditions. These characteristics support a local origin of the Baghewala-1 oil from organic-rich laminated dolomites in the Infracambrian Bilara Formation.
Significant amounts of petroleum could originate from equivalents of the proposed Bilara source rock in the Punjab basin, Pakistan, where the Precambrian to lower Paleozoic section is thicker and more deeply buried than in India. Deeper burial of the source rock in the Punjab basin than in the Bikaner-Nagaur basin could generate more mature equivalents of the Baghewala-1 oil.
The Baghewala-1 oil is geochemically similar to another heavy oil from the Infracambrian Salt Range Series in the nearby Karampur-1 well in Pakistan and to oils derived from carbonate-evaporite facies of the Infracambrian Huqf Group about 2000 km (1243 mi) to the southwest in the Eastern Flank province of southern Oman. These findings are consistent with published evidence that subsiding rift basins in northwest India, Pakistan, and southern Oman were in close proximity during the Infracambrian along the Middle Eastern edge of Gondwanaland.