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1- Theoretical
In petroleum geology,

source rock refers to rocks from which

hydrocarbons have been generated or are capable
of being generated. They form one of the
necessary elements of a working petroleum
system. They are organic-rich sediments that may
have been deposited in a variety of environments
including deep water marine, lacustrine and
deltaic. Oil shale can be regarded as an organicrich but immature source rock from which little or
no oil has been generated and expelled.

MATTER:Organic matter is either:
Organic matter is derived from sources
external to the water body.
Organic matter produced within the
immediate water body

Fate of organic matter died organisms:Only a fraction of the biogenic elements

created in the upper ocean is buried in ocean


RICHNESS: 1- Quantity of organic matter delivered
to sediments (productivity)
2- Organic matter preservation

3- Terrigenous vs. biogenic clastic input

The amount of kerogen is determined as the total organic

carbon (TOC), measured as the weight percentage of the

rock. The amount of organic matter can then be described
as fair, good, or very good.


A. Chemical (elemental) analyses of the kerogens: This
method was first proposed by van Krevelan. The
hydrogen to carbon (H/C) and oxygen to carbon (O/C)
ratios on an atomic basis are cross plotted.

B. Microscopic analyses of organic remains, leads to

description of kerogen particles on the basis of their
morphology, color and reflectance. The different types of
kerogen particles are called macerals. Macerals are
essentially organic minerals, they are to kerogen what
minerals are to rock.

C. Generative potential of kerogens:

This classification depends on kerogen response to
thermal stress. The fraction of the kerogen which may be
converted to petroleum in the subsurface is described as
reactive; the remaining fraction is described as inert. The
reactive portion of kerogen is subdivided into:
a Labile fraction (breaks down to give oil between 100150C);
a Refractory fraction (breaks down to give gas at about
150C until to 230C).
D. Thermal evolution of kerogens :

Examination of the products of kerogen degradation, either

by looking at results of natural degradation or by simulation
(pyrolysis). As sedimentary organic matter is buried, it
experiences progressively higher temperatures and pressures. A
number of reactions begin as the organic matter attempts to
come to equilibrium with higher temperature and pressures.
These reactions, in which kerogen breaks down into a variety of
hydrocarbons and a refractory residue.



Thermal generation of bitumen

not yet initiated; biogenesis of gas
Thermal generation of bitumen
active; biogenesis of gas completed.
Thermal generation of bitumen
completed; breakdown of bitumen active.



2- Case Study
Abu Madi/Elqar'a Field, Nile Delta,

A- Source Rock Evaluation:

1. TOC and Pyrolysis data

migration index
Rock-Eval pyrolysis analysis

gas-prone organic matter

poor to fair hydrocarbon
generation potential.
Production Index

fairly mature and gas


the early oil generation


The migration index (S1/TOC) ranges from

0.03 to 0.49 mg HC/g TOC with an average

value of 0.11 mgg HC/g TOC. This value lies in
the range of 01-0.2 mg HC/g TOC suggested by
Hunt to caracterize the oil expulsion zone.
In the Rock-Eval pyrolysis analysis, free
hydrocarbons (S1) in the rock and the amount
of hydrocarbons (S2) and CO2 (S3) expelled
from pyrolysis of kerogen are measured (Tables
1 and 2). In addition, the Tmax value, which
represents the temperature at the point where
the S2 peak is maximum, is also determined.


data from 19 samples from Abu Madi

Formation presents low values of S1 (average 0.12
mgHC/g rock), S2 value ranges from 0.25 to 2.74 mg
HC/g rock (average is 1.27 mg HC/g rock), the (S1 +
S2) range from 0.50 to 2.91 mg HC/g rock (average
1.38 mg HC/g rock). The calculated S2/S3 equals 1.3
(less than 2). These values indicate gas-prone
organic matter and poor to fair hydrocarbon
generation potential. The values of Production
Index (PI) expressed by {S1/(S1 + S2)} range from
0.04 to 0.5 (average 0.11) lie in the range of oil
window .
Accordingly, organic matter in
mudstone bed within Abu Madi formation is
suggested to be fairly mature and gas prone; they
have reached the early oil generation zone very
close to the roof of the oil window.

2. Vitrinite Reflectance

Figure 1: Plot of Tmax versus Vitrinite reflectance values (Ro),

showing good agreement between Tmax and Vitrinite reflectance

3. Type of Oraganic Matter

Figure 2: Plot of Tmax versus H.I. for the analyzed samples from
Abu Madi-9 and Abu Madi-11 wells well.

Figure 3: Plot of Oxygen index versus hydrogen index for the

analyzed samples from Abu Madi-9 well.

4. Thermal maturity of organic matter

Figure 4: (a) Burial history curve for Abu Madi-9 well showing the calculated maturity (b) the
measured maturity for samples taken from Abu Madi formation. Both figures agree the level of
maturity for Abu Madi formation (early to mid mature).

B- Numerical Modeling
1- Burial History

Figure 7: Burial history curve for AbuMadi-9

well showing kinetic window of stratigraphic

Figure 8: Burial history curve for Abu Madi-15

well showing kinetic window of stratigraphic

2. Tectonic Subsidence Curves

Figure 9: Tectonic subsidence rate for Abu

Madi-9 well, showing period of nondeposition
and period of increasing rate of

Figure 10: Tectonic subsidence rate for AbuMadi15 well, showing period of nondeposition and
period of increasing rate of

3. Timing of Hydrocarbon Generation of

Miocene Source Rocks

Figure 11: Burial history curve with

hydrocarbon zones for the Abu Madi and Sidi
Salem formations.

Figure 11: Burial history curve with

hydrocarbon zones for the Abu Madi and Sidi
Salem formations.