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Abstract: Comparative Analysis of Exploration Potential for the World's Thrust Belts and Foreland Basins

J. Coleman, J. Cook, M. Davis, L. Eggers, L. Parker, S. Spencer, S. Toadvine

A study of 27 petroliferous thrust belts and adjacent foreland basins from around the world reveal the wide variety within these petroleum systems. Stratigraphically, the studied systems range from predominantly shallow water carbonates to mixed carbonates and siliciclastics to dominantly deep water siliciclastics; they range in age from Cambrian - Ordovician to Pliocene - Pleistocene.

The essential factors of productive systems are the volume and distribution of effective source rocks to charge reservoirs, coupled with upper level seals to isolate accumulation at depth from destructive, near - surface effects. When the prime source rock goes through the oil and gas generation windows during the main period of thrusting, syn - orogenic traps typically capture the expelled hydrocarbons. At the same time, pre - orogenic source rocks may pass through their full expulsion, thermal range, and previously - trapped oil may remigrate upward, or be catagenically converted to gas or destroyed. Production may be found in pre - orogenic, syn - orogenic, and post - orogenic traps.

Study of well - documented, thrust belts and foreland basins systems helps narrow the range of interpretations of possibilities based on minimal data in frontier foreland basins. It also helps in field exploitation and deeper pool wildcat exploration by suggesting new trap type potential.

AAPG Search and Discovery Article #90956©1995 AAPG International Convention and Exposition Meeting, Nice, France