The Petroleum System in The North Falkland River Basin
The petroleum exploration discovered a system of source rock in the North Falkland Basin capable of generating more than 102 kg of hydrocarbons per tonne of rock. Although a great portion of the thickness of the source rock is geologically immature, it is capable of generating hydrocarbons below 2,000 metres. The rock generating the largest quantity of hydrocarbons is located at a depth of nearly 3,000 metres. The calculations of the volume of rock that lies just inside the bordering fringe of the petroleum deposit ranges from 36 billion cubic metres to 400 billion cubic metres, depending on the interpretation of the seismic survey data. In general, it is believed that the basin could have generated up to 60 billion barrels of petroleum. The petroleum exploration discovered that under the principal interval of source rock is a layer of sandstone approximately 100 metres thick with porosities reaching 30%. Up to now, very few sandstones with good reserve properties have been found in the succession of rifts below the interval of principal source rock, but very few wells have penetrated into this zone.
The absence of high pressure in the basin suggests that whatever quantity of petroleum was produced could have migrated laterally and thus could be trapped in rift reservoirs developed below and to the side of the source rock and could function—given its low level of porosity—as a seal for the deeper rock and would only be cut on the borders where it is intruded upon by faults.
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