Skip to main content

Hydrocarbon Migration and its Implications for Hydrocarbon Exploration and Charge Risk Assessment: Case Studies from the Persian Gulf, Iran

Historically, basin and petroleum system modeling has mainly focused on understanding the burial and thermal history of sedimentary rocks as well as related hydrocarbon generation from kerogen (sedimentary organic matter) in source rocks; much less studies treated hydrocarbon migration and accumulation in great detail, although it is of uttermost importance for petroleum exploration and production. New 2D and 3D basin models in different parts of the Persian Gulf indicate the variable complexity of hydrocarbon migration in this region. A complex migration pattern including sequential filling, spilling and refilling of the structures are assumed for the northern part of the basin, whereas in the southern part simple lateral migration over distances of hundreds of kilometers is reasonable. Besides geometry of the basin, tectonic evolution of structural highs and facies variations are the controlling parameters on the direction of hydrocarbon migration and accumulation in the northern part. While there is a presumably minor effects of the fault systems on the burial and thermal history, their role as hydrocarbon conduits and therefore controlling the hydrocarbon accumulation and geochemical properties are of great importance. The results provide key information on charge history and understanding of the Cretaceous-Tertiary petroleum systems and genetic distribution of oil families in the Persian Gulf. It also reveals the possible causes of exploration failures and hints for future hydrocarbon exploration potential.


Alireza Baniasad, Ralf Littke
RWTH Aachen University, Germany
GeoKarlsruhe 2021