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ABSTRACT: Petroleum Potential of the Upper Ordovician Maquoketa Group in Illinois: A Coordinated Geological and Geochemical Study

Joan E. Crockett, Michael A. Kruge, Donald F. Oltz

The Ordovician Maquoketa Group in Illinois, predominantly composed of shale, calcareous shale, and carbonates, has long been considered a potential source for Illinois basin hydrocarbons. Methods used to better define the petroleum potential of the Maquoketa in the Illinois basin were lithostratigraphic study, Rock-Eval (pyrolysis) analyses, comparison of molecular markers from whole-rock extracts and produced oil, and construction of burial history models.

Organic-rich, submature Maquoketa potential source rocks are present in western Illinois at shallow depths on the basin flank. Deeper in the basin, in southern Illinois, Rock-Eval analyses indicate that the Maquoketa shale is within the oil window. Solvent extracts of the Maquoketa from western Illinois closely resemble the Devonian New Albany Shale, suggesting that past studies may have erroneously attributed Maquoketa-generated petroleum to a New Albany source or failed to identify mixed-source oils. Subtle differences between Maquoketa and New Albany solvent extracts include differences in pristane/phytane ratios, proportions of steroids, and distribution of dimethyldibenzothiophene isomers. Maquoketa solvent extracts show little resemblance to Middle Ordovician oils from the Illin is or Michigan basins.

Lithostratigraphic studies identified localized thick carbonate facies in the Maquoketa, suggesting depositional response to upper Ordovician paleostructures. Sandstone facies in the Maquoketa in southwestern Illinois offer a potential source/trap play, as well as serving as potential carrier beds for hydrocarbon migration. Maquoketa source and carrier beds may feed older Ordovician rocks in faulted areas along and south of the Cottage Grove fault system in southern Illinois.

AAPG Search and Discovery Article #91003©1990 AAPG Annual Convention, San Francisco, California, June 3-6, 1990