petroleum exploration overview

Aug 14th, 2016
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Basin Description and ClassificationsBecause of the burial and temperature requirements needed for the maturation of organic matter, mostpetroleum will be found in sedimentary basins. Sedimentary basins are depressions on the earth'ssurface, caused by subsidence, that receive greater-than-average sediment thicknesses.Most basins have sediment fills in excess of 2 kilometers, and some may contain 10 or more kilometers ofsedimentary rock. This is usually sufficient for at least part of their contained organic matter to mature topetroleum.However, being within the "oil window" is not enough. The petroleum richness of sedimentary basins, oreven the presence of petroleum at all, is also highly dependent on source rock and reservoirdevelopment, migration pathways, geothermal regime, style and timing of trap development, and thepresence of good sealing lithologies. The age of the sedimentary rocks within a basin is also of someimportance.Even though petroleum reserves can be found in rocks of all ages, most giant fields and most of theworld's reserves occur in sequences, of Late Mesozoic and Cenozoic age ( Figure 1 ) . Paleozoic rocksprobably had potential to generate hydrocarbons equal to that of these younger rocks, but there has beenmore time in which to destroy all or part of the petroleum through uplift and erosion (Halbouty et al, 1970).Figure 1Petroleum enrichment, the incidence of giant fields, and the habitat of petroleum within sedimentarybasins can be

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