Comparative Study on Hydrocarbon Generation in Different Tectonic Zones: A Case Study from the Upper Jurassic Naokelekan Formation at the Imbricated and High Folded Zones, Kurdistan Region, Iraq
The impact of tectonic activities from different tectonic zones on hydrocarbon generation in the Upper Jurassic Naokelekan Formation was addressed in this study. The Upper Jurassic Naokelekan Formation is an important potential of source rocks for hydrocarbon generation that charges most of the Cretaceous and younger reservoirs in the Kurdistan Region, Iraq. A total of 5 rock specimens from the Warte outcrop and 7 cutting samples from Well Bina Bawi-1 were collected for Rock-Eval pyrolysis to investigate the relationship between the ability of the formation to generate hydrocarbons and tectonic activities. The results of Rock-Eval analysis on the analyzed samples showed an average of 2.65 wt% and 0.9 wt% total organic carbon (TOC) for Warte and Well Bina Bawi-1, respectively. Based on the TOC data, the Naokelekan Formation, in general, has a good to very good source rock potential. The qualitative properties of the organic matter (OM) of the formation were inferred from the kerogen types. The Warte section mostly contains type III kerogen that is gas prone, whereas the Well Bina Bawi-1 section contains mixed type I-II kerogen that is oil prone. It should be taken into consideration that the values for the hydrogen index (HI) of the Warte section are unreliable for interpretation of the organic type, because the HI is considerably reduced owing to the high level of thermal maturity. The Tmax values showed that the Warte section is thermally more mature than the Well Bina Bawi-1 section. The difference in the thermal maturity can likely be attributed to the differential effects of the tectonic activities on the studied areas. Depending on the proximity or distance of the area in relation to the subduction zone, the sediments in the Imbricated Zone were more affected by the tectonic activities than the sediments in the High Folded Zone. Accordingly, the main factors that might have caused a higher thermal maturity in the Imbricated Zone include a high paleo heat flow, overthrusting, and hydrothermal activities.
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