Burial history, basin modeling and petroleum source potential in the Western Desert, Egypt

Author : Mohamed R. Shalaby, Wan Hasiah Abdullah & Abdelmoneim N. Abu Shady
Publication : Bulletin of the Geological Society of Malaysia
Page : 103-113
Volume Number : 54
Year : 2008
DOI : https://doi.org/10.7186/bgsm54200817

Bulletin of the Geological Society of Malaysia, Volume 54, November 2008, pp. 103 – 113


Burial history, basin modeling and petroleum source potential in the Western Desert, Egypt

Mohamed R. Shalaby1*, Wan Hasiah Abdullah1 & Abdelmoneim N. Abu Shady2

1Department of Geology, University of Malaya, 50603 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

*Email: m_shalaby@petronas.com.my, mshalaby2004@yahoo.com

2Khalda Petroleum Company, New Maadi, P.O Box 560, Maadi, Cairo, Egypt

Abstract— A combination of burial histories, geochemical analyses, Rock-Eval pyrolysis, and types of organic matter have been used to evaluate the potential source rocks and the generation of hydrocarbons in the Western Desert of Egypt. Perhydrous vitrinite and amorphous kerogen appear to be the dominant organic matter with lesser amounts of other maceral components. Good oil prone source rocks have been identified in the Upper Cretaceous while in older sediments mixed and good gas prone source rocks occur. The burial history models indicate that the measured and modeled derived values are in good agreement. The top of the oil window has been interpreted deeper than 8000 ft (Kharita Formation) in both wells studied which indicates that the Middle Jurassic Khatatba Formation, and older sediments, are presently in the late stage of oil generation and are able to generate gas with some oil.

The models suggest the Jurassic Formations began to generate oil during Late Cretaceous. Gas generation is expected during the Eocene and Oligocene in the studied wells. The times of peak oil generation are recorded in the range 87-84 my and at different depths for the studied wells. The Lower Cretaceous Alam El-Beuib sources are expected to generate oil during the Late Cretaceous. But for the Alamein and Kharita Formations, oil was generated during the Miocene. The time of peak oil generation is around 72-71 my for the Alam El-Beuib and 13-12 my for the Alamein and Kharita Formations in the studied wells. In both wells the bottom of gas window is not reached.

Keywords: burial history, thermal maturity, organic geochemistry, source rock, kerogen types