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Petroleum System Modeling in a Mud Diapir and Mud Volcano Development Region: A Case Study from the Indolo-Kuban Petroleum Province


Saint-Germes, Macha1, Jean-Paul Herbin2, Frederic Schneider2, Roland Vially2, Bruno Taupin1 (1) Beicip-Franlab, Rueil-Malmaison, France (2) Institut Français du Pétrole, Rueil-Malmaison, France


The Indolo-Kuban petroleum province remains an area for hydrocarbon exploration and potential discoveries. Onshore, the Taman and Kerch peninsulas’s are effective petroleum regions characterized by active mud-diapir formation and by one of the world’s highest den­sity of mud volcanoes. These phenomena also develop in the potential zones of Black Sea offshore where the understanding of the petroleum systems remains insufficient. In the studied areas, thick (up to 6 km) Lower Oligocene-Miocene argillaceous formation – the Maikop Series – is regarded as the main regional source-rock. The type and content of organic matter in the Maikop source-rock widely vary laterally. Quickly subsided during the Neogene and remaining under-compacted at great depths, this formation also plays the main role in the development of mud-diapir structures and mud volcanoes connected to these. The petroleum systems analyses were carried out using 1D and 2D basin modeling tools to better understand the interactions between the mud-diapirs development and the mud volcanoes initiation and operation mechanisms and main petroleum system elements. The modeling results testify the mud-diapirism of Maikop Series has a considerable impact on the extension of the Miocene reservoir and hydrocarbon’s traps. The mud volcano activ­ity in the different regions depends directly on the local geochemical characteristics of Maikop source-rock. However, the results don’t show any direct relationship between begin­ning of hydrocarbons generation in the Maikop Series and the initiation of mud-volcanoes. This phenomenon would be due to the hydraulic fracturing caused by surge in overpressure resulting from the high of the argillaceous sedimentation rate.