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Is Hinterland Basin of the Hill Ranges in North Pakistan Overlooked Geological Province for the Hydrocarbon Exploration?

Abstract

The hinterland basins of orogenic belts are commonly perceived as ‘difficult’ places to explore and therefore are generally ignored by the exploration companies. In north Pakistan, the hinterland basin of the Hill ranges is a good example of such ignored basins despite the fact that it is bordered by the prolific Kohat-Potwar foreland basin which hosts the largest oil and gas fields. Some of the reasons of evasion include the seismic data quality, uncertainty regarding the burial and charge history of reservoirs as well as complex deformation which tends to lead to a perceived high risk of the trap breach. At present the evaluation techniques have better evolved over time and it is now possible to achieve good 3D seismic data. Moreover, Structural restoration techniques have moved into the 3D domain and it is now possible to more accurately model burial and uplift evolution of source and reservoirs. This research is particularly focused on the assessment of the hydrocarbon potential of the overlooked hinterland basin of Hill ranges in north Pakistan to better constrain its structural evolution, subsurface geometries, reservoir, charge evolution and timing utilizing modern evaluation techniques.