The deposition of type II-S Jordan oil shale in the context of Late Cretaceous source rock formation in the Eastern Mediterranean realm. Insights from organic and inorganic geochemistry and petrography

S. Grohmann*, R. Littke, I. Abu-Mahfouz, G. Gaus, J. Klaver, N. Thüns, P. Schulte, T. Patzek, V. Vahrenkamp

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations

Abstract

This study provides a detailed geochemical and petrographic investigation of 22 Upper Cretaceous Jordan Oil Shale (JOS) samples obtained from various wells distributed across Jordan. The JOS is generally characterized by high amounts of organic matter with total organic carbon (TOC) contents of 10–29 wt%, high carbonate contents of 15–75 wt%, and variable biogenic SiO2 contents of 1–50 wt%. The organic matter is oil-prone, reflected by a clear predominance of liptinite macerals and Rock-Eval Hydrogen Index (HI) values of 608–1078 mg HC/g TOC. In terms of elemental composition, bulk and molecular organic geochemistry and petrology, the JOS is similar to other age-equivalent organic-rich rocks from the Eastern Mediterranean. Primary bioproductivity was probably controlled by a Late Cretaceous upwelling event that affected the whole region. Low Pr/Ph ratios <0.5 indicate that organic matter preservation was not only controlled by the formation of an upwelling-related oxygen minimum zone but also by further oxygen depletion in isolated sub-basins. This setting led to vulcanization of kerogen; proven by a positive correlation between calculated organic sulfur contents and the amount of thiophenes generated during Curie-point pyrolysis. Although the thermal maturity is low (Tmax values < 430°C), significant amounts of hydrocarbons (up to 30 kg HC per ton of rock) are present within these rocks. The present bitumen fraction shows high concentrations of asphaltenes (10–65%) and NSO compounds (30–85%) with higher contributions in samples with the lowest thermal maturities. The relative contributions of aliphatic and aromatic compounds are correspondingly low, but increase with higher thermal maturities. Kinetic parameters suggest that isothermal pyrolysis at 350°C might be already enough to artificially convert 80% of the reactive kerogen within about one day, making the JOS a potential target for oil shale retorting.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number106058
JournalMarine and Petroleum Geology
Volume148
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 2023

Keywords

  • Eastern Mediterranean
  • Jordan Oil shale
  • Late cretaceous
  • Petroleum geochemistry
  • Type II-S kerogen

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oceanography
  • Geophysics
  • Geology
  • Economic Geology
  • Stratigraphy

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'The deposition of type II-S Jordan oil shale in the context of Late Cretaceous source rock formation in the Eastern Mediterranean realm. Insights from organic and inorganic geochemistry and petrography'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this