Silurian source rocks are wide spread and charge approximately 9% of the world’s conventionally trapped hydrocarbons. In addition, thick Silurian source beds are seen as unconventional targets for oil and gas and Shell has secured such acreage in China and Turkey. The most prolific source rocks of this age are found in the Middle East and North Africa. They are responsible for numerous conventional hydrocarbon accumulations, including the Arabian ‘super-giants’ (North Dome/South Pars and Ghawar) and major Algerian gas and oil fields (Hassi R’Mel and Hassi Messaoud). In this presentation, the variation in depositional setting for the Silurian source rocks will be illustrated, through a careful reconstruction of the Silurian flood in time and space. Although these source beds typically occur at or near the base of Silurian, some are clearly linked with oceanic upwelling, some accumulated in relatively confined foreland basin settings whereas others were formed on a broad but tectonically and glacially modified Gondwana shelf.


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