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Ghaba salt basin province and Fahud salt basin province, Oman; geological overview and total petroleum systems

September 1, 1999

Three Total Petroleum Systems each consisting of one assessment unit have been identified in the Ghaba and Fahud Salt Basin Provinces of north-central Oman. One Total Petroleum System and corresponding assessment unit, the North Oman Huqf/`Q'? Haushi(!) Total Petroleum System (201401) and Ghaba-Makarem Combined Structural Assessment Unit (20140101), were identified for the Ghaba Salt Basin Province (2014). In the Fahud Salt Basin Province, however, two overlapping Total Petroleum Systems (TPS) were recognized: 1) the North Oman Huqf ? Shu'aiba(!) TPS (201601); Fahud-Huqf Combined Structural Assessment Unit (20160101), and 2) the Middle Cretaceous Natih(!) TPS (201602); Natih-Fiqa Structural/Stratigraphic Assessment Unit (20160201). The boundary for each Total Petroleum System also defines the boundary of the corresponding assessment unit and includes all trap styles and hydrocarbon producing reservoirs within the petroleum system.

In both the Ghaba and Fahud Salt Basin Provinces, hydrocarbons were generated from several deeply-buried source rocks within the Infracambrian Huqf Supergroup. One general `North Oman Huqf' type oil is dominant in the Fahud Salt Basin. Oils in the Ghaba Salt Basin are linked to at least two distinct Huqf source-rock units based on oil geochemistry: a general North Oman Huqf-type oil source and a more dominant `questionable unidentified-source' or `Q'-type Huqf oil source. These two Huqf-sourced oils are commonly found as admixtures in reservoirs throughout north-central Oman.

Hydrocarbons generated from Huqf sources are produced from a variety of reservoir types and ages ranging from Precambrian to Cretaceous in both the Ghaba and Fahud Salt Basin Provinces. Clastic reservoirs of the Gharif and Al Khlata Formations, Haushi Group (M. Carboniferous to L. Permian), dominate oil production in the Ghaba Salt Basin Province and form the basis for the Huqf/`Q' ? Haushi(!) TPS. In contrast, the Lower Cretaceous Shu'aiba and Middle Cretaceous Natih limestones account for most of the production in the Fahud Salt Basin with about 50 percent of the basin's production from porous, fractured Shu'aiba limestones in Yibal field, thus the name North Oman Huqf ? Shu'aiba(!) TPS. Deep gas is produced mainly from Middle Cambrian to Lower Ordovician clastic reservoirs of the Haima Supergroup. Traps in nearly all hydrocarbon accumulations of these petroleum systems are mainly structural and were formed by one or more mechanisms. These trap-forming mechanisms were mainly periodic halokinesis of the thick Cambrian Ara Salt and consequent folding and faulting from basin loading, rifting, or other major tectonic events, particularly those events forming the Oman Mountains and associated foreland-basin system during the Late Cretaceous and Late Tertiary.
Many of the future new-field targets will likely be low-relief, subtle structures, as many of the large structures have been drilled. Oman's recent interest and commitments to liquid natural gas export make deep gas a primary objective in the two North Oman Huqf petroleum systems. New-field exploration of deep gas and exploring deeper targets for gas in existing fields will likely identify a significant gas resource in the next thirty years. Moreover, salt-diapir flank traps in these two North Oman Huqf petroleum systems and salt basin provinces have gone essentially untested and will likely be targeted in the near-future.

The Middle Cretaceous Natih(!) TPS is a small efficient system of the Fahud Salt Basin. Natih source rocks are only mature in the Late Cretaceous/Tertiary foredeep and production is primarily from Natih reservoirs; minor production from the Shu'aiba limestone is documented along fault-dip structures. Most traps are structural and are related to development of the foreland basin and formation of the Oman Mountains. Future targets of the Natih TPS will be less obvious than those of Fahud and Natih fields and likely includ

Publication Year 1999
Title Ghaba salt basin province and Fahud salt basin province, Oman; geological overview and total petroleum systems
DOI 10.3133/ofr9950D
Authors R. M. Pollastro
Publication Type Report
Publication Subtype USGS Numbered Series
Series Title Open-File Report
Series Number 99-50
Index ID ofr9950D
Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse