Cover Image

Multi-analytical Approach (FTIR, XRF, XRD, GC-MS) Characterization of Source Rocks from the Anza Basin, Kenya

Lorna Chemutai Chesir


Potential source rocks from three wells (Chalbi-3, Sirius-1, and Ndovu-1) in the Anza Basin of northeastern Kenya were analyzed using elemental carbon-hydrogen-nitrogen analysis, and mineralogical characterization by X-ray diffraction (XRD), X-ray fluorescence (XRF), Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR), and scanning electron microscopy (SEM-EDX).). A Gas Chromatography-Mass Spectrometry (GC-MS) analysis of the saturated aliphatic biomarkers was carried out to illuminate the organic matter source. The analytical results revealed that the source rocks have moderate to high total organic carbon (%TOC) content, suggesting conditions in the Basin favor organic production and preservation. The Hydrogen Indices (HI: 0.19–0.60 atomic ratios) typify a predominance of mixed type II/III (oil/gas-prone) with more type III (gas-prone) and less II (oil-prone) kerogens. The FTIR, XRF, and XRD results reveal that the studied source rock samples comprised mainly of quartz, followed by silicate-clay minerals and calcite minerals. The solvent-extractable organic matter investigation revealed biomarker distributions of n-alkanes and isoprenoids (pristane/ phytane ratios), suggesting that source rocks were derived from algae and bacteria deposited weakly anoxic and low toxic environmental conditions, with minimal contribution from terrestrial organic matter sources. Consequently, all three wells have hydrocarbon generation potential, particularly Ndovu-1, which displays good organic matter content to produce oil and gas. The hydrocarbon potential is excellent and capable of making expulsions of oil and/or gas from the wells at sufficient depths.

Full Text:



- M.A. Taha, T.H. Abdelhafeez, S.M. El-hady, A.Z. Nooh, W.H. Mohamed, Improving Hydrocarbon Prospect Evaluation at Badr El Din-3 and Badr El Din-15 Oil Fields by Integrating 3D Structural Modeling and Petrophysical Analysis for Abu-Gharadig Basin, North of Western Desert, Egypt, Arabian Journal for Science and Engineering, 2023, 48(1), 625-643.

- A.J. Al-yasiri, Implications of unconventional oil on the economies of conventional oil-producing countries, PalArch's Journal of Archaeology of Egypt/Egyptology, 2020, 17(7), 12284-12296.

- A.E. Radwan, S. Sen, Characterization of in-situ stresses and its implications for production and reservoir stability in the depleted El Morgan hydrocarbon field, Gulf of Suez rift basin, Egypt, Journal of Structural Geology, 2021, 148, 104355.

- S. Hui, X. Pang, H. Pang, C. Li, X. Zhou, T. Hu, K. Shi, M. Li, S. Mei, W. Yuan, A Data-Driven Approach to the Unified Evaluation of Conventional and Unconventional Hydrocarbon Resources: Application to Low-Mature to Mature Source Rocks in the Liaohe Western Depression, Minerals, 2023, 13(3), 390.

- A.E. Radwan, A. Husinec, B. Benjumea, A.A. Kassem, A. Abd El Aal, M.H. Hakimi, M.V. Thanh, M.I. Abdel-Fattah, A.A, Shehata, Diagenetic overprint on porosity and permeability of a combined conventional-unconventional reservoir: Insights from the Eocene pelagic limestones, Gulf of Suez, Egypt, Marine and Petroleum Geology, 2022, 146, 105967.

- N.M. Al-Areeq, Petroleum source rock characterization, and hydrocarbon generation, Recent Insights in Petroleum Science and Engineering, 2018, 3-30.

- O.J. Ojo, A.Y. Jimoh, J.C. Umelo, S.O. Akande, Organic geochemical and palynological studies of the Maastrichtian source rock intervals in Bida Basin, Nigeria: implications for hydrocarbon prospectivity, Journal of Petroleum Exploration and Production Technology, 2020, 10(8), 3191-3206.

- P. Purcell, Oil and gas exploration in East Africa: A brief history, AAPG Search and Discovery Article, 2014, 30388, 14-17.

- G. Mibei, B.S. Harðarson, H. Franzson, E. Bali, H. Geirsson, G.H. Guðfinnsson, Eruptive history and volcano-tectonic evolution of Paka volcanic complex in the northern Kenya rift: Insights into the geothermal heat source, Journal of African Earth Sciences, 2021, 173, 103951.

- P. Bofin, R.H. Pedersen, Tanzania's oil and gas contract regime, investments and markets (No. 2017: 01), DIIS Working Paper, 2017.

- S. Davies, Eastern Promise (Africa Special Oil), Engineering and Technology, 2013, 8(5), 70-73.

- D. Macgregor, History of the development of the East African Rift System: a series of interpreted maps through time, Journal of African Earth Sciences, 2015, 101, 232-252.

- B. Gilbert, D. Olago, D. Ichangi, B. Rop, Geochemical Evaluation for the Hydrocarbon Potential of Source Rocks in the Anza Basin, International Journal of Geosciences, 2021, 12, 572-583.

- B.K. Rop, Petroleum potential of the Chalbi basin, NW Kenya, Journal of the Geological Society of India, 2013, 81(3), 405-414.

- P. Yang, Z. Ren, B. Xia, X. Zhao, T. Tian, Q. Huang, S. Yu, The Lower Cretaceous source rocks geochemical characteristics and thermal evolution history in the HaRi Sag, Yin-E Basin, Petroleum Science and Technology, 2017, 35(12), 1304-1313.

- J. Srodon, Quantitative mineralogy of sedimentary rocks with emphasis on clays and applications to K-Ar dating, Mineralogical Magazine, 2002, 66(5), 677-687.

- D. McMorrow, J. Als-Nielsen, Elements of modern X-ray physics, John Wiley and Sons, 2011.

- M.H. Hakimi, M.N. Lotfy, M.M. El Nady, W.A. Makled, F.S. Ramadan, A. Rahim, S.T. Qadri, A. Lashin, A.E. Radwan, A.D. Mousa, Characterization of Lower Cretaceous organic-rich shales from the Kom Ombo Basin, Egypt: Implications for conventional oil generation, Journal of Asian Earth Sciences, 2023, 241, 105459.

- L. Zhang, B.A. Hascakir, Systematic Study of Water-Rock Reactions to Reveal the Relationship Between Total Dissolved Solids and Colloidal System Parameters, Paper presented at the SPE Canada Unconventional Resources Conference, 2020.

- K.E. Peters, M.R. Cassa, Applied source rock geochemistry, Chapter 5: Part II, Essential elements, 1994.

- B.P. Tissot, D.H. Welte, Petroleum formation and occurrence, Springer Science & Business Media, 2013.

- B. Tissot, G. Demaison, P. Masson, J.R. Delteil, A. Combaz, Paleoenvironment and petroleum potential of middle Cretaceous black shales in Atlantic basins, AAPG Bulletin, 1980, 64(12), 2051-2063.

- N. Tanykova, Y. Petrova, J. Kostina, E. Kozlova, E. Leushina, M. Spasennykh, Study of organic matter of unconventional reservoirs by IR Spectroscopy and IR microscopy, Geosciences, 2021, 11(7), 277.

- R. Bouamoud, A. El Hamidi, M. Halim, M.R. Masamba, R.A.K. Nlandu, S. Arsalane, Mineralogical characterization and preliminary assessment of the hydrocarbon potential of sedimentary rock from the western part of the Central Kongo, Mediterranean Journal of Chemistry, 2018, 7(2), 93-104.

- S. Guven, S. Akin, B. Hascakir, Comprehensive spectral and thermal characterization of oil shales, Paper presented at the SPE Middle East Unconventional Resources Conference and Exhibition, 2015.

- M. Niu, S. Wang, X. Han, X. Jiang, Yield and characteristics of shale oil from the retorting of oil shale and fine oil-shale ash mixtures, Applied Energy, 2013, 111, 234-239.

- M. Labus, Thermal methods implementation in the analysis of fine-grained rocks containing organic matter, Journal of Thermal Analysis and Calorimetry, 2017, 129(2), 965-973.

- D. Nirmala, R.P. Burhan, S. Suprapto, Y. Zetra, Aliphatic hydrocarbon biomarkers of Sekar Kurung Gresik crude oil, Malaysian Journal of Fundamental and Applied Sciences, 2019, 15(3), 426-431.

- H.S. Zetra, F. Riandra, I.B. Sosrowidjojo, R.P. Burhan, The Oxygenated Biomarker as an Indicator of Origin and Maturity of Miocene Brown Coal, Sangatta Coal Mines, East Kalimantan, Indonesian Journal on Geoscience, 2018, 5(2), 107-116.

- A.R. Sabuni, Petroleum systems and hydrocarbon potential of the Ruvuma Basin, Tanzania, Geoenergy Science and Engineering, 2023, 211588.

- B. Tissot, B. Durand, J. Espitalie, A. Combaz, Influence of nature and diagenesis of organic matter in the formation of petroleum, AAPG Bulletin, 1974, 58(3), 499-506.

- M.E. Nady, M.F. Harb, Source rock quality from oil biomarkers of the Abu Gharadig Basin in the North Western Desert, Egypt, Energy Sources,

Part A: Recovery, Utilization, and Environmental Effects, 2015, 37(23), 2514-2523.

- N. Obaje, D. Attah, S. Opeloye, A. Moumouni, Geochemical evaluation of the hydrocarbon prospects of sedimentary basins in Northern Nigeria, Geochemical Journal, 2006, 40(3), 227-243.

- B.P. Tissot, D.H. Welte, From kerogen to petroleum Petroleum formation and occurrence, Springer-Verlag, 1984, 160-198.

- M. Escobar, G. Márquez, S. Inciarte, J. Rojas, I. Esteves, G. Malandrino, The organic Geochemistry of oil seeps from the Sierra de Perijá eastern foothills, Lake Maracaibo Basin, Venezuela, Organic Geochemistry, 2011, 42(7), 727-738.

- A.A. Aliyev, O.R. Abbasov, Mineralogical and geochemical proxies for the Middle Eocene oil shales from the foothills of the Greater Caucasus, Azerbaijan: Implications for depositional environments and paleoclimate, Mineralia Slovaca, 2019, 51(2), 157-174.

- K.A. Ariskina, Z. Ding, M. Abaas, C. Yuan, D.A. Emelianov, Q. Chen, M.A. Varfolomeev, Influence of Carbonate Minerals on Heavy Oil Oxidation Behavior and Kinetics by TG-FTIR, Energies, 2021, 14(23), 8136.



  • There are currently no refbacks.

Copyright (c) 2023 Mediterranean Journal of Chemistry