International Geological Journal - Official Journal of the Carpathian-Balkan Geological Association

Depositional environment, organic matter characterization and hydrocarbon potential of Middle Miocene sediments from northeastern Bulgaria (Varna-Balchik Depression)

Published: Oct 2015

Pages: 409 - 426



Abstract: The depositional environments and hydrocarbon potential of the siliciclastic, clayey and carbonate sedi- ments from the Middle Miocene succession in the Varna-Balchik Depression, located in the south-eastern parts of the Moesian Platform, were studied using core and outcrop samples. Based on the lithology and resistivity log the succession is subdivided from base to top into five units. Siliciclastic sedimentation prevailed in the lower parts of units I and II, whereas their upper parts are dominated by carbonate rocks. Unit III is represented by laminated clays and biodetritic limestone. Units IV and V are represented by aragonitic sediments and biomicritic limestones, corre- lated with the Upper Miocene Topola and Karvuna Formations, respectively. Biogenic silica in the form of diatom frustules and sponge spicules correlates subunit IIa and unit III to the lower and upper parts of the Middle Miocene Euxinograd Formation. Both (sub)units contain organic carbon contents in the order of 1 to 2 wt. % (median: 0.8 for subunit IIa; 1.3 for unit III), locally up to 4 wt. %. Based on Hydrogen Index values (HI) and alkane distribution pattern, the kerogen is mainly type II in subunit IIa (average HI = 324 mg HC/g TOC) and type III in unit III (average HI ~ 200 mg HC/g TOC). TOC and Rock Eval data show that subunit IIa holds a fair (to good) hydrocarbon genera- tive potential for oil, whereas the upper 5 m of unit III holds a good (to fair) potential with the possibility to generate gas and minor oil. The rocks of both units are immature in the study area. Generally low sulphur contents are prob- ably due to deposition in environments with reduced salinity. Normal marine conditions are suggested for unit III. Biomarker composition is typical for mixed marine and terrestrial organic matter and suggests deposition in dysoxic to anoxic environments.

Keywords: organic geochemistry, hydrocarbon potential, Euxinograd Formation, NE Bulgaria, Eastern Paratethys

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