Petroleum generation and expulsion in the Lower Palaeozoic petroleum source rocks at the SW margin of the East European Craton (Poland)

Dariusz Botor, Jan Golonka, Justyna Zając, Bartosz Papiernik, Piotr Guzy


In this work, 1-D numerical modelling of petroleum generation and expulsion processes in the Upper Ordovician and Lower Silurian source rocks was carried out in over sixty wells along the SW margin of the East European Craton (EEC) in Poland. Lower Palaeozoic sediments were subjected to rapid burial in the Palaeozoic and then were uplifted in several phases, but with the predominance of the late Variscan tectonic inversion. The thermal maturity of organic matter in the Lower Palaeozoic strata indicates the advancement of the generation processes from the phase of low-temperature thermogenic processes in the NE part of the Baltic and Podlasie-Lublin basins to the overmature stage along the zone adjacent to the Teisseyre-Tornquist Zone (TTZ). The results of modelling of generation and expulsion show that these processes took place mainly in the Devonian and Carboniferous periods and in the westernmost part (along the TTZ), even in the latest Silurian. The hydrocarbon expulsion took place with a small – delay after generation. During the Mesozoic and Cainozoic, generation processes practically were not resumed or intensified. Nevertheless, it was found that zones with an increased shale gas potential can occur only in a relatively narrow belt on the SW slope of the EEC, parallel to the edge of the TTZ. The most promising seem to be Caradocian, Llandovery and the Wenlock between the Lębork IG-1 and Kościerzyna IG-1 wells in the Baltic Basin, and the Wenlock source rocks in the Podlasie-Lublin Basin between the Okuniew IG-1, Łopiennik IG-1 and Narol IG-1 wells. Most of the hydrocarbons were subjected to expulsion and possible migration. As a result, there was a large dispersion of the hydrocarbons generated. The chance of preservation of these hydrocarbons in the source rocks is small.

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