Analysis of Cenozoic
Implications for the Development of New Petroleum Plays, NE Tibet Plateau, China
Matthew Hertz, Indiana University,
Dept. of Geological Sciences, Bloomington,
IN, [email protected]
The study of Qaidam Basin
is significant because it offers an example of a petroliferous basin that is
completely non-marine, tectonically enclosed and has undergone significant
climate changes over its long life of the last 50 Ma. This unique basin
therefore provides the opportunity to study how variable fluvial and lacustrine
systems as a result of changing climate and tectonics influence petroleum
systems elements, like source, reservoir and migration pathways.
The Qaidam Basin lies in the northeastern portion of the Tibetan
Plateau between the Kunlun and Qilian
Mountains. It contains more
than 22 oil and gas fields and at least 15 km of Tertiary sedimentary rocks. Lacustrine
facies serve as source rocks and reflect changing paleoenvironmental conditions
as a result of climatic and tectonic changes.
We have produced preliminary
geologic maps of two study areas and measured stratigraphic sections, as a
context for facies analysis and sampling. Material collected from these
sections will be analyzed for biostratigraphy (palynology) to constrain age,
stable C/O isotopes for chemostratigraphic correlation and paleoclimatic data,
and geochemistry for source rock and environmental characterization (TOC,
Rock_Eval, and biomarkers). Finally, we will conduct vitrinite reflectance
analysis and utilize our compiled data to create geological and subsidence
models of this unique long-lived basin.
understanding of the relationship between basin architecture and source rock
facies in this area can lead to the development of new petroleum plays in this
already producing, and similar basins worldwide.