Quartz and fe-dolomite cements record shifts in formation-water chemistry and hydrocarbon migration in Devonian shoreface sandstones, Ghadamis Basin, Libya

Muftah A. Khalifa, Howri Mansurbeg, Daniel Morad, Sadoon Morad, Ihsan S. Al-Aasm, Pavel Spirov, Andrea Ceriani, Luiz Fernando De Ros

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations

Abstract

Cementation by quartz overgrowths and subsequently by carbonates is a very common global paragenetic phenomenon in sandstones of many basins that is poorly constrained in the literature. Integrated petrography, electron microprobe, stable isotopes, fluid inclusion microthermometry, and Raman spectroscopy have helped unravel the diagenetic conditions, fluid flow, and hydrocarbon migration during the development of quartz overgrowths and later Fe-dolomite cement in the Devonian shoreface sandstones (oil and gas reservoirs), Ghadamis Basin, NW Libya. The high homogenization temperatures of Fe-dolomite (Th ¼ 119 to 1408C) together with its low d18OVPDB values (–17.6% to –13.2%) and saddle-crystal morphology suggest the flux of hot basinal brines. The fluid-inclusion microthermometry shows a shift from NaCl-dominated brines during quartz cementation (16.0 to 17.3 wt.% NaCl eq.) to NaCl and CaCl2-dominated brines during Fe-dolomite cementation (15.6 to 18.4 wt.% NaCl eq.). The latter brines probably circulated through overlying Mesozoic carbonate and evaporite strata before descending deep into the basin. The similarity in Th ranges for Fe-dolomite and quartz overgrowths, despite the shift in formation-water chemistry suggests precipitation under similar geothermal conditions. The presence of oil-filled inclusions in quartz overgrowths suggests that cementation occurred during oil migration, whereas the presence of methane in inclusions in the Fe-dolomite cement suggests precipitation during gas migration. This study shows that fluid inclusion microthermometry and Raman spectroscopy of the widespread paragenetic sequence of quartz overgrowths followed by carbonate cement are crucial to unravel changes in formation-water chemistry and fluid (including hydrocarbon) migration in sedimentary basins.

Original languageBritish English
Pages (from-to)38-57
Number of pages20
JournalJournal of Sedimentary Research
Volume88
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - 2 Jan 2018

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