Source rock and shale oil potential of the Pabdeh Formation (Middle–Late Eocene) in the Dezful Embayment, southwest Iran

B. Alizadeh, A. Opera, M. Kalani, M. Alipour


The Pabdeh Brown Shale Unit (BSU) is an organic-rich calcareous mudstone within the Paleogene Pabdeh Formation, which has not yet been investigated in detail. A total of 166 core and cutting samples were selected from four wells in the Dezful Embayment to investigate the organic geochemical and the mineralogical compositions, as well as the shale oil potential of the BSU. XRD results show that it is mainly comprised of calcite (53wt.%), clay minerals (25wt.%), and quartz (14wt.%). TOC contents generally range from 1 to 9wt.% (avg. 4.2, 2.9, 5.2 and 3.3wt.%, for GS, KR, RR and RS wells, respectively) with HI values ranging between 400 and 650 mg HC/g TOC. Based on average values of Tmax and vitrinite reflectance, as well as saturate biomarker ratios, the BSU is immature at wells RR and RS (ranging from 0.3 to 0.53%) and its maturity increases northward at wells KR and GS (ranging from 0.5% to 0.67%). The organic matter is dominated by Type ΙΙ kerogen and is generally composed of liptinite and amorphous material with minor terrestrial input. Based on various biomarker parameters, the organic matter was most likely deposited under anoxic marine conditions. The mineralogical characteristics (i.e. presence of brittle minerals) and organic geochemical properties (i.e. TOC >2wt% and Type II kerogen) support the conclusion that the Pabdeh BSU displays a considerable shale oil potential where it attains appropriate thermal maturity.



Pabdeh BSU; Organic matter; Biomarkers; Mineral composition; Oil potential.

Full Text:




  • There are currently no refbacks.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License.

            Facultat de Ciències de la Terra                       Geociències Barcelona                           Institut de Diagnosi Ambiental                    Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona           
                Universitat de Barcelona                                                                                          i Estudis de l'Aigua (CSIC) 
Geologica Acta (ISSN-1695-6133)
Biblioteca de Ciències de la Terra (UB-CSIC) | Facultat de Ciències de la Terra, Martí i Franquès s/n 08028 Barcelona | Spain
Phone: +34 93 403 19 89 | E-mail:
RCUB RCUB Declaració ètica Avís Legal Centre de Recursos per a l'Aprenentatge i la Investigació Universitat de Barcelona