Organic Geochemical Evaluation of the Black Shale interbeds Within the Lithological Succession of the Al Aziziyah Formation, NW Libya

Amer Burgan (1)
(1) Department of Petroleum Engineering, Faculty of Engineering, Bani Walied University, Libya, Libya


The samples under investigation represent the black shale in interbeds within the Al Aziziyah Formation, located in the NW part of Libya and were analysed using geochemical techniques method and a variety of organic geochemical parameters. The aim of this study is to assess the type of organic matter, thermal maturity, and environment of deposition, based on biomarker distributions and Rock-Eval pyrolysis. The Gas chromatograms of the saturated hydrocarbon fractions of the study samples display a smooth high-end member distribution of the n- n-alkanes extending beyond nC34. The sample displayed evidence of biodegradation as suggested by the presence of the loss of some of the lower molecular weight n-alkanes. The predominance of high molecular weight n-alkane in the study sample suggests a significant input of higher land plant organic matter into these sediments. Geochemical (Rock-Eval, Tmax. values ranging from 416-4390C typical of immature range). Another related feature of these rocks extracted is the presence of a high relative abundance of gammacerane, indicating an anoxic marine hypersaline source depositional environment. The relatively high abundance of common land-plant-derived biomarkers, such as oleananes, is a clear indication of major terrigenous input to the source of these extractable organic matters. The high abundance of C24 tetracyclic terpanes could be associated with higher land-plant, algae, or microbial sources, thereby suggesting a mixed source input. TOC valued < 0.5 wt.%, in the analyzed samples can be considered as a poor source rock generative potential. Based on this study, it can be said that the interbedded shales of the Al Aziziyah Formation seem to have received substantial amounts of land-derived organic matter that has been transported into an open marine subtidal depositional setting had prevailed and was deposited in a photosynthetic-organisms dominated environment (thereby suggesting a mixed source input).


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Amer Burgan (Primary Contact)
Burgan, A. (2023). Organic Geochemical Evaluation of the Black Shale interbeds Within the Lithological Succession of the Al Aziziyah Formation, NW Libya. Journal of Earth Energy Engineering, 12(3), 96–113.

Article Details

Received 2023-08-06
Accepted 2023-11-07
Published 2023-12-30