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Hydrocarbon potential of Cretaceous sediments in the lower and middle Benue Trough, Nigeria; insights from new source rock facies evaluation

, : Hydrocarbon potential of Cretaceous sediments in the lower and middle Benue Trough, Nigeria; insights from new source rock facies evaluation. Journal of African Earth Sciences 64

The Nigerian Benue Trough is an intracratonic rift structure which evolution is related to the Early Cretaceous opening of the South Atlantic Ocean and the Gulf of Guinea. Previous hydrocarbon potential assessments of the successions in the trough revealed a number of organic rich intervals capable of yielding significant quantities of hydrocarbons in the Cretaceous sections. Stratigraphic continuity of these intervals suggests their potentials for hydrocarbons if thermally mature and both oil and gas can be generated. The present study have expanded on some previously reported source rock data of the Cretaceous formations in the Benue Trough by detailed mapping of the stratigraphic intervals with source rock potentials on the basis of their structural setting, lithologic characteristics, and depositional environments. Further characterization of the organic matter within the Cenomanian to Coniacian on one hand and the Campanian to Maastrichtian intervals were carried out to determine the geochemical character of the organic rich zones, their maturity and effectiveness to generate and expel hydrocarbons. In the Lower Benue Trough, mature facies of the Cenomanian to Turonian Eze-Aku Formation with a predominance of Types II and III kerogen, the Turonian to Coniacian Type III dominated Awgu Formation and the Type III dominated lower Maastrichtian sub-bituminous coals of the Mamu Formation have proven potentials as oil and gas source rocks. In the Middle Benue Basin, the preserved mature intervals of the Awgu Formation shales and coals are good gas source rocks with some oil prone units in view of the predominating Type III kerogen. Targets for hydrocarbons generated by these source rock intervals should focus on the non-emergent Cretaceous reservoirs within the pre-Santonian successions whereas, the mature equivalents of the sub-bituminous coal facies would generate and charge both Upper Cretaceous reservoirs and possibly the sub-Niger Delta successions in the sub-surface. Abstract Copyright (2012) Elsevier, B.V.


DOI: 10.1016/j.jafrearsci.2011.11.008

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