37 oil samples from 17 oil fields in the Austrian part of the Alpine Foreland Basin have been investigated with regard to biomarker composition. The differences in the composition of oil are generally minor reflecting a common lower Oligocene source rock (Schöneck Fm.) and homogenization during long-distance lateral migration. Nevertheless a regional subdivision into five oil groups is suggested by biomarker data. Variations in biomarker composition reflect a strong vertical facies zonation within the source rock (e.g. carbonate content) and different maturity of the source rock. Within the distinguished oil groups, the western one is most discrete. In comparison to the others it is characterized by relatively low maturity (0.7-0.8%Rr), low C28-/C29-steranes ratios, low Ts/Tm values, high hopane / moretane ratios and high sulphur contents. Probably, the oil is mainly derived from the middle part of the Schöneck Formation, which yields a sulphur rich oil during pyrolysis.


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