The Cenomanian/Turonian Oceanic Anoxic Event in the Razzak Field, North Western Desert, Egypt: Source Rock Potential and Paleoenvironmental Association


The Western Desert of Egypt is one of the world's most prolific Jurassic and Cretaceous hydrocarbon provinces. It is one of many basins that experienced organic-rich sedimentation during the late Cenomanian/early Turonian referred to as oceanic anoxic event 2 (OAE2). The Razzak #7 oil well in the Razzak Field in the northern part of the Western Desert encountered the Upper Cretaceous Abu Roash Formation. This study analyzed 23 samples from the upper "G", "F", and lower "E" members of the Abu Roash Formation for palynomorphs, particulate organic matter, total organic carbon (TOC) and δ13Corg in order to identify the OAE2, determine hydrocarbon source rock potential, and interpret the depositional environment. The studied samples are generally poor in palynomorphs, but show a marked biofacies change between the lower "E" member and the rest of the studied samples. Palynofacies analysis (kerogen quality and quantity) indicates the presence of oil- and gas-prone materials (kerogen types I and II/III, respectively), and implies reducing marine paleoenvironmental conditions. Detailed carbon stable isotopic and organic carbon analyses indicate that fluctuations in the δ13Corg profile across the Abu Roash upper "G", "F", and lower "E" members correspond well with changes in TOC values. A positive δ13Corg excursion (~2.01‰) believed to mark the short-term global OAE2 was identified within the organic-rich shaly limestone in the basal part of the Abu Roash "F" member. This excursion also coincides with the peak TOC measurement (24.61 wt.%) in the samples.


Geosciences and Geological and Petroleum Engineering

Keywords and Phrases

δ 13Corg; Abu Roash Formation; Cenomanian/Turonian; OAE2; Palynofacies; TOC; Anoxic Sediments; Biological Materials; Hydrocarbons; Kerogen; Landforms; Oil Wells; Petroleum Geology; Petroleum Prospecting; Organic Carbon; Egypt; Western Desert

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Article - Journal

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© 2011 Elsevier, All rights reserved.

Publication Date

01 Aug 2011