The petroleum potential of the Riphean–Vendian succession of southern East Siberia
James P. Howard, Olga K. Bogolepova, Alexander P. Gubanov, Marcela Gόmez-Pérez, 2012. "The petroleum potential of the Riphean–Vendian succession of southern East Siberia", 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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The Siberian Platform covers an area of c. 4.5 million km2 in the East Siberia region of Russia, up to 3.5 million km2 of which is prospective for hydrocarbons. We review the Archaean to Neoproterozoic evolution of the Siberian Platform and the potential oil and gas resources of Riphean, Vendian and Infracambrian sediments. The Riphean was dominated by passive margin sedimentation and was intensely deformed during the Baikalian orogeny. Vendian strata record a clastic transgressive sequence and the eventual re-establishment of carbonate platform sedimentation. The late Vendian–early Cambrian is characterized by carbonate deposition including thick salt horizons, which form a regional seal. Hydrocarbon maturation and migration from Riphean and Vendian source rocks occurred during the late Neoproterozoic and Early Palaeozoic, indicating that hydrocarbon reservoirs on the Siberian Platform may have hosted their reserves over a remarkable period of geological time. Despite many years of hydrocarbon exploration in East Siberia, many regions remain under-explored, and aspects of the proven hydrocarbon systems are poorly understood. There are undoubtedly more major discoveries to be made in the region, and the Infracambrian succession of the southern Siberian Platform therefore represents an irresistible target for further hydrocarbon exploration.
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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.