Geochemical characteristics and depositional environments of the Narimba Formation source rock, Bass Basin, Australia


This research aims to conduct source rock characterization on the Narimba Formation in the Bass Basin, Australia, which is made of mostly sandstone, shale and coal. The geochemical characteristics and depositional environments have been investigated through a variety of data such as rock–eval pyrolysis, TOC, organic petrography and biomarkers. Total organic carbon (TOC) values indicated good to excellent organic richness with values ranging from 1.1 to 79.2%. Kerogen typing of the examined samples from the Narimba Formation indicates that the formation contains organic matter capable of generating kerogen Type-III, Type-II-III and Type-II which is gas prone, oil–gas prone and oil prone, respectively. Pyrolysis maturity parameters (Tmax, PI), in combination with vitrinite reflectance and some biomarkers, all confirm that all samples are at early mature to mature and are in the oil and wet gas windows. The biomarkers data (the isoprenoids (Pr/Ph), CPI, isoprenoids/n-alkanes distribution (Pr/nC17 and Ph/nC18), in addition to the regular sterane biomarkers (C27, C28 and C29) are mainly used to evaluate the paleodepositional environment, maturity and biodegradation. It has been interpreted that the Narimba Formation was found to be deposited in non-marine (oxygen-rich) depositional environment with a dominance of terrestrial plant sources. All the analyzed samples show clear indication to be considered at the early mature to mature oil window with some indication of biodegradation.

Journal of Petroleum Exploration and Production Technology