Source Rock

Definition - What does Source Rock mean?

Source Rock is the main source from which hydrocarbons are generated or can be generated from. Oil shale is regarded as immature Source Rock, rich in organic matter, from which oil can be generated. The methodologies help in identifying the zones where petroleum is available in the sedimentary basin. These methodologies are called subsurface source rock mapping. Integration of existing Source Rock data into seismic maps can indicate the feasibility of hydrocarbon kitchens. Hydrocarbon kitchens are also known as generative basins.

Petropedia explains Source Rock

Source Rocks consist of Kerogen which is the mixture of organic chemical compounds that actually form a portion of the sedimentary rocks. Few kerogens release natural gas or crude oil when heated. High of concentrations kerogen in a rock such as shale form a Source Rock.

There are three types of Source Rock:

  • Type 1 Source Rock- During deep burial when they are subjected to thermal stress they generate waxy crude oil. The algae which remains in deep lakes (in anoxic conditions) is the major source of type 1 Source Rock.
  • Type 2 Source Rock- During thermal crack they produce both oil and gas. In the marine environment, under the anoxic condition, the deposition and preservation of bacterial remains form these types of rocks.
  • Type 3 Source Rock- They are formed by terrestrial plant material.
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