Arabian Journal of Geosciences

, Volume 8, Issue 7, pp 5111–5125 | Cite as

Structural styles, hydrocarbon prospects, and potential in the Salt Range and Potwar Plateau, north Pakistan

  • Ishtiaq A. K. JadoonEmail author
  • Matthias Hinderer
  • Beenish Wazir
  • Rizwan Yousaf
  • Sher Bahadar
  • Muhammad Hassan
  • Zeeshan-ul-Hassan Abbasi
  • Sidra Jadoon
Original Paper


The Salt Range/Potwar Plateau (SRPP) is part of the Himalayan foreland and an important petroleum province in north Pakistan. The hydrocarbons are commonly produced from stacked Cambrian to Eocene clastic and carbonate reservoirs which have an average thickness of 1 km. These strata are overlain by at least 5 km of Miocene and younger continental molasse sedimentation in the deepest part of the foreland basin. Surface and subsurface (seismic interpretations and borehole data) geology combined with the timing and the patterns of sedimentation has allowed to interpret the deformation as thin skinned, with a detachment in weak Eocambrian evaporates and the development of ramp-and-flat structures, since about 8 Ma. We have reviewed the structural interpretations with new borehole logs, field geology, and reserve estimates in this paper to precisely define oil-field structures with a view on future exploration. As a result of this work, 12 oil fields are classified as three detachment folds, four fault-propagation folds, four pop-ups, and one triangle zone structure. The latter two are identified as better prospects with the last one as the best with estimated reserves of 51 million barrels of oil (MMBO). Hence, the triangle zones along with other ramp-and-flat structures from the North Potwar Deformed Zone (NPDZ) are recognized to provide potential future prospects. Finally, a 40-km-long structural cross section from NPDZ is used to discuss complex deformation of the triangle zone and duplex structures as future potential prospects. About 55 km of shortening across the NPDZ during Plio-Pleistocene time is calculated, which has important bearing on the geometry of prospects, reserve calculations, and the future exploration.


Prospects Detachment folds Fault-propagation folds Fault-bend folds Pop-up structures Triangle zone 



The Alexander von Humboldt Foundation, Germany, COMSATS Institute of Information Technology, and Institute of Applied Geosciences, TU Darmstadt, are gratefully acknowledged for this research. Assistance of Frau Petra Kraft and Kirsten Herrmann is dully acknowledged.


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Copyright information

© Saudi Society for Geosciences 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ishtiaq A. K. Jadoon
    • 1
    Email author
  • Matthias Hinderer
    • 2
  • Beenish Wazir
    • 1
  • Rizwan Yousaf
    • 1
  • Sher Bahadar
    • 1
  • Muhammad Hassan
    • 1
  • Zeeshan-ul-Hassan Abbasi
    • 1
  • Sidra Jadoon
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Earth SciencesCOMSATS Institute of Information TechnologyAbbottabadPakistan
  2. 2.Institute of Applied GeosciencesTU DarmstadtDarmstadtGermany

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