Geochemical significance of tricyclic and tetracyclic terpanes in source rock extracts from the Offshore Niger Delta Basin, Nigeria

Abstract

Tricyclic and tetracyclic terpanes are important constituents of crude oil and source rock extracts. However, they have not been reported in the Offshore Niger Delta Basin, Nigeria. Thus, the present study investigated the geochemical significance of tricyclic and tetracyclic terpanes in source rock extracts from the Offshore Niger Delta Bain, Nigeria with gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS). The total relative abundances of tricyclic terpanes, C19TT–C21TT, and C23TT in the rock samples ranged from 82.50 to 96.37%, 50.08 to 74.17%, and 25.83 to 49.92%, respectively. These values showed the source rocks were formed from a mixed origin (terrestrial and marine). Among the tricyclic and tetracyclic terpanes identified in the rock extracts, the conventional (C20TT, C23TT, C24TT, C24TeT) and recent (Y1, X1, Z1) were more prominent than all others, indicating mixed input of terrigenous and marine organic matter. The C24TT/C23TT, C24TeT/(C24TeT + C26TT), C19TT/C23TT, C20TT/C23TT, C25TT/C24TeT, C25TT/C26TT, C19TT/C20TT, C24TeT/C26TT, Z1/(Z1 + C24TT), and Y1/(Y1 + C24TT) in the rock samples range from 0.33 to 1.30, 0.76 to 0.90, 0.18 to 0.73, 0.34 to 1.05, 0.33 to 1.74, 0.30 to 1.39, 0.31 to 0.89, 1.66 to 4.33, 0.36 to 0.83, and 0.34 to 0.79, respectively. These values further showed that the rock samples were formed from mixed input of terrigenous and marine organic matter and deposited under oxic to suboxic conditions in lacustrine-fluvial/deltaic environments. Also, the C24TeT/C20–26TT, C24TeT/C30HOP, and C23TT/C30HOP ranged from 0.16 to 0.45, 0.02 to 0.42, and 0.01 to 0.48, respectively. This range of values suggests that source rocks were within immature to early mature stage. Thus, this study showed that tricyclic and tetracyclic terpanes were effective in determining the origin, depositional environments, and thermal maturity of source rocks in the Niger Delta Basin, Nigeria.

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(after Stacher 1995)

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(after Xiao et al. 2019b)

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Acknowledgements

The authors thank the Department of Petroleum Resources of Nigeria and Chevron Nigeria Limited for providing the rock samples. A. B. Ogbesejana appreciates Cheng Quan and Zhao Jiang for their assistance in the laboratory works, and Prof. Zhong Ningning for the vital roles in securing funding and care during his visit to the State Key Laboratory of Petroleum Resources and Prospecting, China University of Petroleum, Beijing China towards this research. This paper benefitted immensely from the constructive advice of Prof. Meijun Li of the State Key Laboratory of Petroleum Resources and Prospecting, China University of Petroleum Beijing, China. The authors gratefully acknowledge the State Key Laboratory of Petroleum Resources and Prospecting, College of Geoscience, China University of Petroleum, Beijing, China for granting A. B. Ogbesejana an international visiting research fellowship towards this research work. A. B. Ogbesejana appreciates Prof. Zhong Ningning for the vital he played in securing funding and care during his visit to the State Key Laboratory of Petroleum Resources and Prospecting, China University of Petroleum, Beijing China towards this research.

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Correspondence to Abiodun B. Ogbesejana.

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Ogbesejana, A.B., Bello, O.M., Ali, T. et al. Geochemical significance of tricyclic and tetracyclic terpanes in source rock extracts from the Offshore Niger Delta Basin, Nigeria. Acta Geochim 40, 184–198 (2021). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11631-020-00422-6

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Keywords

  • Tricyclic terpanes
  • Tetracyclic terpanes
  • Source rocks
  • Niger delta
  • Gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS)