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Journal of Applied Sciences
Year: 2005  |  Volume: 5  |  Issue: 4  |  Page No.: 689 - 695

Hydrocarbon Potential and Thermal Maturity of Nkporo Shale from Lower Benue Trough, Nigeria

O.A. Ehinola, O.O. Sonibare, O.A. Falode and B.O. Awofala    

Abstract: Campano-Maastrichtian Nkporo Shales from the Lower Benue Trough, Nigeria were analyzed to assess their petroleum potential by sedimentological analysis and Rock-Eval pyrolysis. The Nkporo Shale consists of dark grey and highly fissile shale with interbeds of sandy shale, siltstone and mudstone. The Total Organic Carbon (TOC) ranges from 0.54 to 3.01 wt.%. These values exceed the minimum value of 0.5 wt.% usually required for potential petroleum source rocks. Hydrogen indices are relatively low, fluctuating within a small range of 20 and 153 mg HC/g TOC revealing kerogen of type III and mixed III/II organic matter (OM), which is predominantly gas prone. Tmax and Production Index (PI) ranged from 426 to 439 ° C (av. 432 ° C) and 0.02 to 0.08 (av. 0.03), respectively. These values indicated that the shales are presently thermally immature. Analytical parameters determined from the peak shape analysis of S2 pyrolysis curves such as asymmetry (B/A), asymmetry-1 (D/C) and Full Width at Half Height (FWHH) are between 0.64 to 1.18, 0.44 to 0.77 and 60 to 80 ° C, respectively. The broad width of FWHH indicated broad range of activation energy and further confirmed the classification of organic matter contained in Nkporo Shale as Type III. The present study showed that the Nkporo Shale has prospects to generate gas rather than oil at appropriate thermal maturity.

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