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TitleOccurrence and preservation of primary organic matter in a hybrid unconventional reservoir: Montney Formation, Western Canada Sedimentary Basin
AuthorHaeri Ardakani, OORCID logo; Cesar, JORCID logo; Pedersen, P KORCID logo; Mackie, S J; Reyes, JORCID logo; Wood, J MORCID logo
SourceInternational Journal of Coal Geology vol. 261, 104096, 2022 p. 1-20,
Alt SeriesNatural Resources Canada, Contribution Series 20220034
Mediapaper; digital; on-line
File formatpdf; html
ProvinceAlberta; British Columbia
Lat/Long WENS-126.0000 -110.0000 61.0000 49.0000
SubjectsScience and Technology; Nature and Environment; sedimentology; fossil fuels; geochemistry; sedimentary basins; carbon; Montney Formation
Illustrationslocation maps; diagrams; photographs; tables; cross-plots
ProgramEnergy Geoscience Clean Energy Resources - Decreasing Environmental Risk
Released2022 08 28
AbstractThe Lower Triassic Montney Formation of the Western Canada Sedimentary Basin (WCSB) is a world-class unconventional hydrocarbon resource in North America. It was deposited on the northwestern margin of Pangaea at mid-latitudes in an arid climate and after major mass extinction at the Late Permian-Triassic boundary. Despite decades of exploration and economic importance, the origin of organic matter composition and source of accumulated hydrocarbons is not well understood. The Montney Formation is primarily composed of dolomitic siltstone with a mean total organic carbon (TOC) content of = 1 wt. %. In this study, we re-examined samples from an Alberta Geological Survey (AGS) data release in 2010 on Montney Formation organic petrography and expand the sampling and analysis to further investigate organic matter type, thermal maturity, and possible internal hydrocarbon source intervals within the Montney Formation by integrating programmed pyrolysis, organic petrography, and molecular geochemistry. Organic petrography and molecular geochemistry show that millimeter to centimeter thick mudstone intervals with TOC = 1 wt. %, are dominantly comprised of Type II marine kerogen (Prasinophyte and Tasmanites) with minimal terrigenous organic matter. The presence of these organic-rich mudstone beds in central and western Alberta reveal intra-formational sources of hydrocarbons within the Montney Formation, in addition to hydrocarbons sourced from overlying organic-rich source rocks (i.e., Triassic Doig and Jurassic Gordondale). These results confirm that the Montney Formation in Alberta can be considered as a hybrid unconventional hydrocarbon reservoir with an interbedded source and reservoir. Molecular geochemistry data suggest that photic zone euxinia (PZE) was favorable for the preservation of organic matter during deposition of the Montney Formation. However, in many instances, this only happened during very short periods similar to depositional conditions on the offshore present day Namibian shelf. Traces of terrigenous organic matter were able to reach the basin, likely in the form of inertinite and combustion-derived polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs). Although the results of this study show there are source rock intervals within the Montney Formation, a comprehensive organic petrography and geochemistry study on a series of full-length Montney cores throughout the basin will help to ascertain the major paleodepositional variation and their effect on organic matter preservation as well as hydrocarbon source intervals and their contribution to WCSB petroleum systems.
Summary(Plain Language Summary, not published)
The origin of organic matter and hydrocarbon in the Montney Formation, the prolific unconventional resource, in the Western Canada Sedimentary Basin is a matter of long debate. This study investigate the origin and composition of the organic matter in the Montney Formation and its paleo-depositional environment using legacy Rock-Eval6 TM as well as newly collected programmed pyrolysis, molecular geochemistry, organic petrography, and fluorescence microscopy.

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