Generation and expulsion of oils from Permian coals of the Sydney Basin, Australia

Manzur Ahmed*, Herbert Volk, Simon C. George, Mohinudeen Faiz, Linda Stalker

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    19 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    Organic geochemical and petrological assessment of coals/coaly shales and fine grained sediments, coupled with organic geochemical analyses of oil samples, all from Permo-Triassic sections of the Southern Sydney Basin (Australia), have enabled identification of the source for the widely distributed oil shows and oil seeps in this region. The Permian coals have higher hydrogen indices, higher liptinite contents, and much higher total organic matter extract yields than the fine grained sediments. A variety of source specific parameters obtained from n-alkanes, regular isoprenoids, terpanes, steranes and diasteranes indicate that the oil shows and seeps were generated and expelled predominantly from higher plant derived organic matter deposited in oxic environments. The source and maturity related biomarkers and aromatic hydrocarbon distributions of the oils are similar to those of the coals. The oil-coal relationship also is demonstrated by similarities in the carbon isotopic composition of the total oils, coal extracts, and their individual n-alkanes. Extracts from the Permo-Triassic fine grained sediments, on the other hand, have organic geochemical signatures indicative of mixed terrestrial and prokaryotic organic matter deposited in suboxic environments, which are significantly different from both the oils and coal extracts. The molecular signatures indicating the presence of prokaryotic organic matter in some of the coal extracts and oils may be due to thin sections of possibly calcareous lithologies interbedded within the coal measures. The genetic relationship between the oils and coals provides new evidence for the generation and expulsion of oils from the Permian coals and raises the possibility for commercial oil accumulations in the Permian and Early Triassic sandstones, potentially in the deeper offshore part of the Sydney Basin. Crown

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)810-831
    Number of pages22
    JournalOrganic Geochemistry
    Volume40
    Issue number7
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - Jul 2009

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