Regional Evaluation of Source Rock Quality in Azerbaijan from the Geochemistry of Organic-rich Rocks in Mud-volcano Ejecta
Gary H. Isaksen, Adil Aliyev, Scott A. Barboza, David Puls, Ibrahim Guliyev, 2007. "Regional Evaluation of Source Rock Quality in Azerbaijan from the Geochemistry of Organic-rich Rocks in Mud-volcano Ejecta", Oil and Gas of the Greater Caspian Area, Pinar O. Yilmaz, Gary H. Isaksen
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Rock ejecta brought to the surface by mud volcanoes offer a unique opportunity to characterize sedimentary units both within and beyond conventional drilling depths. Present among ejecta from mud volcanoes in the South Caspian Basin are the organic-rich rocks of the Oligocene–Miocene Maikop Formation, the primary source rocks for oil and gas in the region. These rocks have total organic carbon contents as much as 7% wt. and hydrogen indices as much as 500 mg hydrocarbons/g organic carbon. They are dominated by marine, algal-amorphous organic matter accumulated under dysoxic to anoxic conditions. When integrated, the rock analyses can aid in the reconstruction of paleodepositional environments and paleogeography of source rock intervals and, thus, help high-grade oil and gas exploration targets.
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Throughout time, the greater Caspian area has maintained its position as one of the major petroleum provinces in the world. Its early history as a prolific producer of oil is well known. Caspian region exploration dates to the seventh century B.C., during the time of the Median Kingdom in today's southern Azerbaijan. Oil played an important role in the everyday lives of these ancient tribes of the region, and it is still a very important commodity today. The past two decades have seen many important advances in our knowledge of the geological evolution of hydrocarbon-bearing sedimentary basins. The success of modern exploration is, to a large extent, based on new advances in both deep and 3-D seismic imaging, as well as improved pressure-prediction and pre-drill oil and gas quality predictive methodologies, to mention just a few. Nevertheless, large areas of the greater Caspian region have remained unexplored due to a variety of factors such as deep-water conditions and zones with high pore-pressures in the South Caspian Sea and The Black Sea, and vast shallow-water regions with harsh winter ice conditions in the North Caspian Sea. This publication contains 12 extended abstracts and 6 full-length papers that discuss technology development, challenges in estimating proven and potential reserves, outcrop-based studies of potential reservoirs, regional tectonics and geodynamic evolution, and source rock and stratigraphic analyses of the greater Caspian area.