AAPG Foundation 2019 Grants-in-Aid Projects

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Petrofacies analysis and hydrocarbon characterization of Late Carboniferous-Early Permian clastic sequences of the Eastern Gondwanaland


Gondwanaland marks the last existing supercontinent in the southern hemisphere and was broadly divided in the eastern, consisting of present-day Indian subcontinent and Australia, and western consisting of present-day Africa and South America combined with Antarctica at the center. Late Carboniferous to early Permian sediment deposits in the eastern Gondwanan basins mark records of both changes in palaeo-climatic and tectonic evolution resulting in deposition of different lithofacies. Recent works from Gondwanan sub-basins in Bangladesh, Nepal and India have shown the difference in both sediment maturity and depositional environments from multiple source areas in the extensional intracratonic basins of the eastern Gondwanan rift. This variation can also be observed both in the type of hydrocarbon distribution and plays in these intracratonic sub-basins and marks the late Carboniferous-early Permian layers potential for future petroleum exploration. Regional petrofacies evaluation of the eastern Gondwana basins as planned would require multiple analysis of sediments from major sub-basins in Australia, India, Nepal and Bangladesh. Petrographic analysis of sandstone and mudstone units, microprobe analysis from selected heavy-mineral grains and geochronology of detrital sediments would aid to understand facies association and provenance to develop petrofacies models that can be used for regional correlation between these intracratonic sub-basins. Whereas, total organic carbon from mudstone units and illite crystallinity would support hydrocarbon prospect evaluation along with measurement of vitrinite reflectance to understand thermal maturity. Finally, this study, as anticipated would help understand petrofacies and hydrocarbon evolution from multiple eastern Gondwanan sub-basins to correlate and tie up the geologic history of the eastern Gondwanaland during one of the most important time periods in earths hydrocarbon history, the Permo-Carboniferous.