Detailed biomarker and light hydrocarbon geochemistry confirm that the marine Mississippian Barnett Shale is the primary source rock for petroleum in the Fort Worth Basin, north-central Texas, although contributions from other sources are possible. Biomarker data indicate that the main oil-generating Barnett Shale facies is marine and was deposited under dysoxic, strong upwelling, normal salinity conditions. The analysis of two outcrop samples and cuttings from seven wells indicates variability in the Barnett Shale organic facies and a possibility of other oil subfamilies being present. Light hydrocarbon analyses reveal significant terrigenous-sourced condensate input to some reservoirs, resulting in terrigenous and mixed marine-terrigenous light hydrocarbon signatures for many oils. The light hydrocarbon data suggest a secondary, condensate-generating source facies containing terrigenous or mixed terrigenous-marine organic matter. This indication of a secondary source rock that is not revealed by biomarker analysis emphasizes the importance of integrating biomarker and light hydrocarbon data to define petroleum source rocks. Gases in the Fort Worth Basin are thermogenic in origin and appear to be cogenerated with oil from the Barnett Shale, although some gas may also originate by oil cracking. Isotope data indicate minor contribution of biogenic gas. Except for reservoirs in the Pennsylvanian Bend Group, which contain gases spanning the complete range of observed maturities, the gases appear to be stratigraphically segregated, younger reservoirs contain less mature gas, and older reservoirs contain more mature gas. We cannot rule out the possibility that other source units within the Fort Worth Basin, such as the Smithwick Shale, are locally important petroleum sources.

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