Petroleum systems within rifted margin basins affected by volcanism continue to remain challenging for the exploration of hydrocarbons, most notably owing to the volume of intrusions that pose imaging, drilling and exploration problems. Typically, intrusions possess small thermal aureoles, but despite this, there is evidence that intrusions could none the less be responsible for the generation of commercial volumes of hydrocarbons. Here we shed new light on this petroleum systems challenge by integrating organic geochemical and Raman spectroscopic techniques to produce potential volumetric data for hydrocarbons generated as a result of igneous intrusion. The results indicate that, in areas with immature source rock intervals, it may be possible for intrusions to generate volumes of oil that would be capable of comfortably filling likely known oil reservoirs. This is a critical step forward in integrating several analytical techniques, indicating that under the right conditions there is the potential for hydrocarbon generation as a result of igneous intrusion.
Bibliographical noteVolume title: Application of Analytical Techniques to Petroleum Systems
The authors would like to thank W. Meredith and F. Bebb for constructive reviews that greatly improved this manuscript. S. Bowden is thanked for useful discussions on earlier drafts. Finally, we would like to thank P. Dowey for his editorial management of this volume.
M. Duffy is supported by a School of Geosciences Scholarship and N. Mark is supported by JX Nippon Exploration & Production (UK) as part of the Volcanic Margin Research Consortium Phase 2.