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Abstract

The southern Kirthar Fold Belt (KFB) and the contiguous Middle Indus Basin (MIB) constitute a major oil and gas province on the southern Pakistan foreland. In the Middle Indus Basin, gas is reservoired in Early Cretaceous marginal marine sandstones sealed by Paleocene shales. Reservoir quality of the Early Cretaceous sediments deteriorates towards the fold belt, but recent discoveries of gas in Upper Cretaceous sandstones sealed by Paleocene shales have highlighted its potential. To understand better the petroleum systems of this region and provide a potential correlation scheme for comparison with other areas of the country, a sequence stratigraphic interpretation was carried out on the Jurassic to Recent sediments of the KFB and MIB. On the basis of outcrop and well data, 23 depositional sequences have been identified: five in the Jurassic units, 10 in the Cretaceous units and eight in the Tertiary units. Sequence boundaries have been defined according to the Exxon method of identifying unconformities and their correlative conformities. However, equal importance has been given to identifying the potentially more chronostratigraphically significant maximum flooding surfaces between these sequence boundaries so as to define accurately the component systems tracts of each sequence. The depositional systems are described in terms of their relationship to the existing lithostratigraphic framework and interpreted in terms of sedimentary responses to external (eustatic) or local (tectonic) events. Notwithstanding the presence of a eustatic signature on some sequences, the majority appear to be tectonically driven and can be related to plate margin events affecting the NW margin of the Indo-Pakistan Plate during its rift-drift-collision history.

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