Geology and hydrocarbon potential of Neoproterozoic–Cambrian Basins in Asia: an introduction
G. M. Bhat, J. Craig, M. Hafiz, N. Hakhoo, J. W. Thurow, B. Thusu, A. Cozzi, 2012. "Geology and hydrocarbon potential of Neoproterozoic–Cambrian Basins in Asia: an introduction", Geology and Hydrocarbon Potential of Neoproterozoic–Cambrian Basins in Asia, G. M. Bhat, J. Craig, J. W. Thurow, B. Thusu, A. Cozzi
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In 2005, the Maghreb Petroleum Research Group (MPRG), University College London, initiated a major research programme focused on the relatively poorly understood Neoproterozoic petroleum systems of the world. A series of research projects were undertaken to understand the generation and entrapment of hydrocarbons in this unique geological time interval, which is dominated by several episodes of global glaciations and post-glacial transgressions, coupled with basin development and rifting on a more local scale (Craig et al. 2009). The research started with a field-based study of the Neoproterozoic sequences in North Africa (Libya, Morocco and Mauritania) and northern India (Rajasthan and Jammu & Kashmir).
A series of international conferences, with field excursions/workshops, were run in parallel with the research programmes. The first of these was held at the Geological Society of London in November 2006 and the proceedings were published in 2009 in Geological Society London, Special Publication 326, entitled, ‘Global Neoproterozoic Petroleum Systems: the emerging potential in North Africa’ (Craig et al. 2009). The second international conference was held at the University of Jammu in 2008 with a focus on the Neoproterozoic petroleum systems of Asia, including India, Pakistan, Oman, China and Siberia (Bhat et al. 2008) (Fig. 1). This current volume contains some of the papers presented at the Jammu conference, in addition to new research on the geology and hydrocarbon potential of the Neoproterozoic–Cambrian basins of Asia. A third and concluding conference and an associated third Geological Society Special Publication will
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This volume provides a comprehensive overview of the geology and hydrocarbon potential of the major Neoproterozoic–Cambrian basins of Asia from Oman, across the Middle East and the Indian Subcontinent, to China and SE Siberia, along with new research on the region. Many of these areas (e.g., Oman, Bikaner–Nagaur Basin in India, South China and SE Siberia) host prolific Neoproterozoic–Cambrian petroleum systems with giant to supergiant fields. Three key elements: (1) tectonic stability, (2) relatively late phase of hydrocarbon generation and (3) presence of an effective evaporite seal, seem to be critical for the development of effective Neoproterozoic–Cambrian petroleum systems. These key elements appear of less consequence for the development of ‘unconventional’ hydrocarbons, and the future prospectivity in many of these basins may lie in the exploration for, and production of, shale gas and shale oil directly from the thermally mature, organic-rich source rocks.