Three structural provinces of this report, the Nepa-Botuoba High, the Angara-Lena Terrace, and the Cis-Patom Foredeep, occupy the southeastern part of the Siberian craton northwest of the Baikal-Patom folded region (fig. 1). The provinces are similar in many aspects of their history of development, stratigraphic composition, and petroleum geology characteristics. The sedimentary
cover of the provinces overlies the Archean?Lower Proterozoic
basement of the Siberian craton. Over most of the area of the provinces, the basement is covered by Vendian (uppermost Proterozoic, 650?570 Ma) clastic and carbonate rocks. Unlike the case in the more northwestern areas of the craton, older Riphean sedimentary rocks here are largely absent and they appear in the stratigraphic sequence only in parts of the Cis-Patom Foredeep province. Most of the overlying sedimentary section consists of Cambrian and Ordovician carbonate and clastic rocks, and it includes a thick Lower Cambrian salt-bearing formation. Younger rocks are thin and are present only in marginal areas.
A single total petroleum system (TPS) embraces all three provinces. The TPS is unique in two aspects: (1) its rich hydro-carbon reserves are derived from Precambrian source rocks and (2) preservation of oil and gas fields is extremely long owing to the presence of the Lower Cambrian undeformed salt seal. Discovered
reserves of the TPS are about 2 billion barrels of oil and more than 30 trillion cubic feet of gas. The stratigraphic distribution
of oil and gas reserves is narrow; all fields are in Vendian to lowermost Cambrian clastic and carbonate reservoirs that occur below Lower Cambrian salt. Both structural and stratigraphic traps are known. Source rocks are absent in the sedimentary cover of the provinces, with the possible exception of a narrow zone on the margin of the Cis-Patom Foredeep province. Source rocks are interpreted here to be Riphean and Vendian organic-rich shales of the Baikal-Patom folded region. These rocks presently
are deformed and metamorphosed, but they generated oil and gas before the deformation occurred in Late Silurian and Devonian time. Generated hydrocarbons migrated updip onto the craton margin. The time of migration and formation of fields is constrained by the deposition of Lower Cambrian salt and by the Late Silurian or Devonian metamorphism of source rocks. This time frame indicates that the TPS is one of the oldest petroleum systems in the world.
All three provinces are exploration frontiers, and available geologic data are limited; therefore, only one assessment unit has been identified. The largest undiscovered hydrocarbon resources are expected to be in Vendian clastic reservoirs in both structural and stratigraphic traps of the Nepa-Botuoba High province. The petroleum potential of Vendian?lowermost Cambrian carbonate reservoirs is smaller. Nevertheless, these reservoirs may contain significant resources. Gas is expected to dominate over oil in the resource base.
Additional publication details
USGS Numbered Series
Petroleum geology and resources of the Nepa-Botuoba High, Angara-Lena Terrace, and Cis-Patom Foredeep, southeastern Siberian Craton, Russia