Mapping Source Rocks in Sedimentary Basins
Areas underlain by thermally mature generative source rocks in a sedimentary basin are called generative basins or depressions or else hydrocarbon kitchens. Mapping those regional oil and gas generative "hydrocarbon kitchens" is feasible by integrating the existing source rock data into seismic depth maps that structurally follow the source horizon(s). It has been statistically observed at a world scale that zones of high success ratios in finding oil and gas generally correlate in most basin types (such as intracratonic or rift basins) with the mapped "generative depressions". Cases of long distance oil migration into shallow traps away from the "generative depressions" are usually found in foreland basins.
Besides pointing to zones of high petroleum potential within a sedimentary basin, subsurface mapping of a source rock's degree of thermal maturity is also the basic tool to identify and broadly delineate shale gas plays.
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