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Carbonate Source Rocks in the Jurassic Smackover Trend of Mississippi, Alabama, and Florida

John H. Oehler
John H. Oehler
Conoco, Incorporated, Exploration Research, Ponca City, Oklahoma1
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January 01, 1984


The Smackover trend is a belt of carbonate, evaporite, and clastic rocks of Late Jurassic age that rims the Gulf Coast of the United States from Texas to the Florida panhandle. This study focuses on the eastern end of the trend, where recent exploration has resulted in numerous oil and gas discoveries. Stratigraphic and geochemical data indicate that the oil and gas were generated from algal-rich lime mudstones (argillaceous content typically less than 6%) of the lower Smackover Formation. The hydrocarbons are present in carbonate grainstones of the overlying upper Smackover Formation and/or sandstones of the underlying Norphlet Formation.

Results of this study and of similar studies in other areas of the world indicate that carbonate rocks with good source potential are typically light-brown to black, fine-grained, laminated limestones. Such rocks were laid down in a rather restricted range of depositional environments, the most important of which (very shallow settings with restricted circulation and isolated basins on broad platforms) occupy specific, predictable positions on carbonate shelves. Recognition of these facts can aid explorationists in locating reservoirs associated with carbonate source rocks.

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AAPG Studies in Geology

Petroleum Geochemistry and Source Rock Potential of Carbonate Rocks

James G. Palacas
James G. Palacas
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American Association of Petroleum Geologists
ISBN electronic:
Publication date:
January 01, 1984




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