Three total petroleum systems were identified in the North Carpathian Province (4047) that includes parts of Poland, Ukraine, Austria, and the Czech Republic. They are the Isotopically Light Gas Total Petroleum System, the Mesozoic-Paleogene Composite Total Petroleum System, and the Paleozoic Composite Total Petroleum System. The Foreland Basin Assessment Unit of the Isotopically Light Gas Total Petroleum System is wholly contained within the shallow sedimentary rocks of Neogene molasse in the Carpathian foredeep. The biogenic gas is generated locally as the result of bacterial activity on dispersed organic matter. Migration is also believed to be local, and gas is believed to be trapped in shallow stratigraphic traps.
The Mesozoic-Paleogene Composite Total Petroleum System, which includes the Deformed Belt Assessment Unit, is structurally complex, and source rocks, reservoirs, and seals are juxtaposed in such a way that a single stratigraphic section is insufficient to describe the geology. The Menilite Shale, an organic-rich rock widespread throughout the Carpathian region, is the main hydrocarbon source rock. Other Jurassic to Cretaceous formations also contribute to oil and gas in the overthrust zone in Poland and Ukraine but in smaller amounts, because those formations are more localized than the Menilite Shale.
The Paleozoic Composite Total Petroleum System is defined on the basis of the suspected source rock for two oil or gas fields in western Poland. The Paleozoic Reservoirs Assessment Unit encompasses Devonian organic-rich shale believed to be a source of deep gas within the total petroleum system. East of this field is a Paleozoic oil accumulation whose source is uncertain; however, it possesses geochemical similarities to oil generated by Upper Carboniferous coals.
The undiscovered resources in the North Carpathian Province are, at the mean, 4.61 trillion cubic feet of gas and 359 million barrels of oil. Many favorable parts of the province have been extensively explored for oil and gas. The lateral and vertical variability of the structure, the distribution and complex geologic nature of source rocks, and the depths of potential exploration targets, as well as the high degree of exploration, all indicate that future discoveries in this province are likely to be numerous but in small fields.
Additional Publication Details
USGS Numbered Series
Total Petroleum Systems of the North Carpathian Province of Poland, Ukraine, Czech Republic, and Austria