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Biostratigraphy of the Lower Palaeozoic Haima Supergroup, Oman : its application in sequence stratigraphy and hydrocarbon exploration

Molyneux, Stewart; Osterloff, Peter; Penney, Randall; Spaak, Pieter. 2006 Biostratigraphy of the Lower Palaeozoic Haima Supergroup, Oman : its application in sequence stratigraphy and hydrocarbon exploration. GeoArabia - Middle East Petroleum Geosciences, 11 (2). 17-48.

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Abstract/Summary

The siliciclastic Haima Supergroup (Cambrian-Silurian) on the west flank of the Ghaba Salt Basin in Oman is currently a target for gas exploration following the discovery of significant gas reserves. An understanding of stratigraphical and facies relationships within the Haima is crucial for their exploration and exploitation, and biostratigraphy is one of the more powerful and cost-effective tools that can be deployed to aid such understanding. The biostratigraphy of the Haima Supergroup is based primarily on palynomorphs. The preexisting biozonation, comprising conventional interval zones, is of low resolution and incorporates misconceptions over the ranges of key species. The work reported here explicitly considered the biostratigraphy of the Haima Supergroup in the context of genetic sequence stratigraphy. It shows that each of the postulated marine flooding events in the Haima Supergroup is characterised by a unique assemblage of marine palynomorphs. Intervening strata are characterised by low diversity and sometimes sparse marine palynomorph assemblages, often comprising only sphaeromorph acritarchs, accompanied by terrestrial cryptospores. These low diversity assemblages indicate proximal marine to nonmarine conditions, consistent with progradation following each marine flood. The sandy prograding deposits in the Haima Supergroup form reservoirs, which are sealed by the shales and mudstones deposited by the succeeding marine flooding event. Lateral changes in marine assemblages indicate onshore-offshore relationships, and have contributed towards mapping the extent of each marine flooding event, critical for evaluation of the potential areal extent of seals. The result is improved biostratigraphical resolution, which enables more precise correlation between wells, and which has contributed to more detailed palaeogeographical maps and to a better assessment of the distribution of reservoir-seal pairs.

Item Type: Publication - Article
Programmes: BGS Programmes > International
ISSN: 1025-6059
Additional Keywords: Biostratigraphy; Oman ; Hydrocarbons
NORA Subject Terms: Earth Sciences
Date made live: 24 Jul 2007 09:00
URI: http://nora.nerc.ac.uk/id/eprint/208

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