A prospective Neoproterozoic–Cambrian hydrocarbon/exploration play in the Kirthar Fold Belt, Pakistan
Nusrat Kamal Siddiqui, 2012. "A prospective Neoproterozoic–Cambrian hydrocarbon/exploration play in the Kirthar Fold Belt, Pakistan", 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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During the Late Neoproterozoic to Early Mesozoic the Indian Plate was part of Pangaea, the Palaeo supercontinent, with the African Plate to the west, as interpreted by various authors. At the same time, the Indian Plate was juxtaposed with the Central Iranian Plate, which separated it from the Arabian Plate in the vicinity of present-day Oman, c. 800 Ma ago. Between 612 and 200 Ma (Late Neoproterozoic to the end of the Triassic) these plates remained firmly attached. The changing configuration of the plates from 200 Ma to the present are provided in this paper. The Neoproterozoic–Cambrian rocks are recorded along the eastern border of Pakistan with India, extending into the Indian Territory and comprising part of the Neoproterozoic–Cambrian basin (Lower Indus Basin). The southern part of the Lower Indus Basin, from the Thar Platform in the east, deepens westwards towards Karachi (embayment) and the Kachhi Foredeep, where the Neoproterozoic–Cambrian succession is likely to be deep-seated. However, c. 5 km uplift of the Kirthar Fold Belt (KFB) across the Western Boundary Thrust (WBT) and the subsequent erosion have exposed the Middle Jurassic Chiltan Limestone, particularly in the central region of the KFB (Landsat images and domal structures with Jurassic outcrops are described in this paper) The limestone rests over older strata, with a possible presence of that of Neoproterozoic–Cambrian age, which is interpreted to be at drillable depth.
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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.