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The Surface-Piercing Salt Domes in the Ghaba Salt Basin (Oman): A Comparison to the Intra-Salt Hydrocarbon Play of the Ara GroupGold Open Access

Authors: Lars Reuning, Schoenherr Johannes, Ansgar Heimann, Janos L. Urai, Ralf Littke, Peter A. Kukla and Zuwena Rawahi
Event name: GEO 2010
Session: Poster Presentation
Publication date: 07 March 2010
Organisations: EAGE
Language: English
Info: Abstract, PDF ( 30.7Kb )

In the South Oman Salt Basin the Ara carbonates form an extensively cored, deeply buried intra-salt
hydrocarbon play. Six surface-piercing salt domes in the Ghaba Salt Basin (North Oman) provide the
only outcrop equivalents for carbonates and evaporites of the Ediacaran-Early Cambrian Ara Group
(uppermost Huqf Supergroup). Based on fieldwork, satellite imaging and isotope analysis it is
concluded that most of the carbonate bodies (so-called stringers) in the Ghaba salt domes are time
equivalent to the stratigraphically uppermost stringer intervals in the South Oman Salt Basin (A5-A6).
Maturity analyses demonstrate that the carbonate stringers in the salt domes were transported with
the rising Ara salt from burial depths of [|#24#|] 6 to 10 km to the surface. Petrographic and stable
isotope data show that their diagenetic evolution during shallow and deep burial was very similar to the
Ara carbonate stringer play in the SOSB. However, during the retrograde pathway of salt diapir
evolution, the carbonate stringers were exposed to strong deformation in the diapir stem and
diagenetic alterations related to dedolomitisation. As the salt domes contain facies that are in all
aspects identical to the deeply buried Ara play in the South Oman Salt Basin, this study provides
substantial additional information for hydrocarbon exploration in South Oman. In addition, our work
has implications for the hydrocarbon prospectivity of the Ghaba Salt Basin and possibly of other
Ediacaran-Early Cambrian evaporite basins in the Middle East such as for the time-equivalent ‘Hormuz’
salt basins.

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