We report on Soxhlet extraction (and subsequent related analyses) of 39 Lower Mississippian-Upper Devonian Bakken shales from the North Dakota portion of the Williston Basin, and analyses of 28 oils from the Basin. Because of the influence of primary petroleum migration, no increase in the relative or absolute concentrations of hydrocarbons or bitumen was observed at the threshold of intense hydrocarbon generation (TIHG), or during mainstage hydrocarbon generation in the Bakken shales. Thus, the maturation indices that have been so useful in delineating the TIHG and mainstage hydrocarbon generation in other studies were of no use in this study, where these events could clearly be identified only by Rock-Eval pyrolysis data. The data of this study demonstrate that primary petroleum migration is a very efficient process. Four distinctive classes of saturated hydrocarbon gas chromatograms from the Bakken shales arose from facies, maturation, and primary migration controls. As a consequence of maturation, the % of saturated hydrocarbons increased in the shale extract at the expense of decreases in the resins and asphaltenes. Measurements involving resins and asphaltenes appear to be excellent maturation indices in the Bakken shales. Two different and distinct organic facies were present in immature Bakken shales. -from Authors
Additional publication details
Organic metamorphism in the Lower Mississippian-Upper Devonian Bakken shales-II: Soxhlet extraction.