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Open-File Report 2013–1307

Prepared in cooperation with Alaska Department of Natural Resources

Rock-Eval Pyrolysis and Vitrinite Reflectance Results from the Sheep Creek 1 Well, Susitna Basin, South-Central Alaska

By Richard G. Stanley, Paul G. Lillis, Mark J. Pawlewicz, and Peter J. Haeussler

Abstract

We used Rock-Eval pyrolysis and vitrinite reflectance to examine the petroleum source potential of rock samples from the Sheep Creek 1 well in the Susitna basin of south-central Alaska. The results show that Miocene nonmarine coal, carbonaceous shale, and mudstone are potential sources of hydrocarbons and are thermally immature with respect to the oil window. In the samples that we studied, coals are more organic-rich and more oil-prone than carbonaceous shales and silty mudstones, which appear to be potential sources of natural gas. Lithologically similar rocks may be present in the deeper parts of the subsurface Susitna basin located west of the Sheep Creek 1 well, where they may have been buried deeply enough to generate oil and (or) gas. The Susitna basin is sparsely drilled and mostly unexplored, and no commercial production of hydrocarbons has been obtained. However, the existence of potential source rocks of oil and gas, as shown by our Rock-Eval results, suggests that undiscovered petroleum accumulations may be present in the Susitna basin.

First posted January 9, 2013

For additional information, contact:
Contact Information, Geology, Minerals, Energy, & Geophysics Science Center
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U.S. Geological Survey
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Menlo Park, CA 94025-3591
http://geomaps.wr.usgs.gov/

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Suggested citation:

Stanley, R.G., Lillis, P.G., Pawlewicz, M.J., and Haeussler, P.J., 2014, Rock-Eval pyrolysis and vitrinite reflectance results from the Sheep Creek 1 well, Susitna basin, south-central Alaska: U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 2013-1307, 12 p., http://dx.doi.org/10.3133/ofr20131307.

ISSN 2331-1258 (online)



Contents

Abstract

Introduction

Stratigraphy of the Sheep Creek 1 Well

Methods

Results and Discussion

Conclusions

Acknowledgments

References Cited


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