Marine petroleum source rocks and reservoir rocks of the Miocene Monterey Formation, California, U.S.A



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The Miocene Monterey Formation of California, a biogenous deposit derived mainly from diatom debris, is important both as a petroleum source and petroleum reservoir. As a source, the formation is thought to have generated much of the petroleum in California coastal basins, which are among the most prolific oil provinces in the United States. Oil generated from the Monterey tends to be sulfur-rich and heavy (<20° API), and has chemical characteristics that more closely resemble immature source extracts than "normal" oil. Thermal-maturity indicators in Monterey kerogens appear to behave anomalously, and several lines of evidence indicate that the oil is generated at lower than expected levels of organic metamorphism. As a reservoir, the Monterey is important due both to conventional production from permeable sandstone beds and to fracture production from fine-grained rocks with low matrix permeability. Fractured reservoirs are difficult to identify, and conventional well-log analysis has not proven to be very useful in exploring for and evaluating these reservoirs. Lithologically similar rocks are broadly distributed throughout the Circum-Pacific region, but their petroleum potential is unlikely to be realized without recognition of the distinctive source and reservoir characteristics of diatomaceous strata and their diagenetic equivalents.

Additional publication details

Publication type Book chapter
Publication Subtype Book Chapter
Title Marine petroleum source rocks and reservoir rocks of the Miocene Monterey Formation, California, U.S.A
Year Published 1988
Language English
Publisher Circum-Pacific Council for Energy and Min­eral Resources
Description 24 p.
Larger Work Type Book
Larger Work Title Petroleum resources of China and related subjects
First page 825
Last page 848
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