Source Rocks of Gondwana Continents & Margins




In Development

Principal Investigator(s):

Rasoul Sorkhabi


ArcGIS database of source rocks across Gondwana’s Continents and Margins (South America, African, Arabian Peninsula, India and Australia) including basinal, stratigraphic, sedimentological, and geochemical attributes (e.g. TOC, Ro, kerogen type, pyrolysis, HC type, etc.) compiled from EGI’s proprietary data archive, DSDP-ODP sites as well as from other technical publications. 

ArcGIS maps highlighting distribution of source rocks in space and through geologic history.

Research Tasks

The geographic coverage of Gondwana Continents and Margins consist of South America, Africa, Arabia, India, Australia, the continental rift-drift margins of these Gondwana tectonic plates, and the Tethyan basins bordering the northern margins of Africa-Arabia-Indian plates. 

The Report will consist of the following: 

(1) Geodatabase of source rock formations (samples from wells and some outcrops) including geospatial, geologic (stratigraphy, lithology, formation name and depositional environment), and geochemical data (TOC, Ro, pyrolysis, kerogen type, and source rock quality description – whatever is available in our sources). The geodatabase comes from > 6000 wells (and some outcrops) and include > 90,000 samples. The data are standardized in a scheme so that it can be searchable and can augmented by the sponsoring companies for their own use. 

(2) Geochemical (as well as geologic) data of source rock (1200) and oil (380) samples analyzed at the EGI Goechemistry Laboratory over the years (mainly from South America). Data include TOC, Ro, pyrolysis, GC, and GC-MS. (Raw data for these samples will be provided for your own independent interpretation of biomarkers etc.) 

(3) Rock formation data (stratigraphy, lithology, mineralogy and geochemistry) from 386 DSDP-ODP deepwater wells in South Atlantic and Indian Oceans containing >38,000 samples 

(4) A summary of source rock formations and stratigraphic charts will be provided in an individual file for each basin. 

(5) Distribution maps of source rock formations through stratigraphic periods (21 time horizons from the Ediacarran through the Pliocene) 

(6) Paleofacies maps (for various stratigraphic horizons) from selected regions in Gondwana margins as available in EGI reports and archive. 

(7) Essential geologic and geophysical maps to better constrain the source rock data (including outcrop geology, gravity, aeormag, ocean floor age, etc.). 

(8) Heat flow data (> 60,000 points) 

(9) Bibliographic references for the source-rock data will be documented for wells and basins.

An appraisal of organic-rich and thermally mature sedimentary rocks lies at the base of the petroleum system analysis for both conventional (migrated) and unconventional (self-sourced) hydrocarbon plays. A quantitative knowledge of the distribution of source rocks in space and through time has important implications not only for the inventory of rich source-rock formations but also evaluating the geologic conditions favorable for source-rock sweet-spots and the generation of oil and gas in a basin. 

The present study aims to assemble and digitize geospatial, geologic, and geochemical data on source-rock formations of various basins on Gondwana continents and margins in a user-friendly and query searchable ArcGIS platform enhanced with geological, geophysical and paleofacies maps. 

EGI, with its 46 years of research work in various basins and regions around the world, holds an impressive archive of >850 reports plus thousands of non-EGI reports and papers. In addition, EGI Geochem Lab has over the decades analyzed rock and oil samples from several regions such as South America, Caspian Sea, etc. The main objective of this study is to assemble and standardize a source-rock database primarily from EGI sources supplemented by newer, public sources. 

The significance of this project is summarized in the following key points: 

(1) The geospatial and temporal distribution of source rocks analyzed statistically, stratigraphically and spatially in this database has practical implications for the risk/success evaluation of petroleum basins and identifying frontier or bypassed plays; 

(2) Sponsoring companies can augment their internal database on source rocks with the EGI database provided for in this project.