Source Rock Evaluation of the Upper Triassic Baluti Formation in Bekhme-1 and Gulak-1 Wells from Akri-Bijeel Block, Kurdistan-Iraq

  • Ayad N. F. Edilbi Department of Petroleum Geosciences, Faculty of Science, Soran University, Soran, Iraq
  • Kamal Kolo Soran Research Center, Soran University, Soran, Iraq
  • Blind F. Khalid Department of Petroleum Geosciences, Faculty of Science, Soran University, Soran, Iraq
  • Mardin N. Muhammad Salim Department of Petroleum Geosciences, Faculty of Science, Soran University, Soran, Iraq
  • Sana A. Hamad Department of Petroleum Geosciences, Faculty of Science, Soran University, Soran, Iraq
  • Shahang A. Ahmad Department of Petroleum Geosciences, Faculty of Science, Soran University, Soran, Iraq
Keywords: Baluti, Bekhme, Gulak, Source Rock, Rock-Eval, Akri-Bijeel Block, Kurdistan.


This study reports on the petroleum potential of the Upper Triassic Baluti Formation in Bekhme-1 and Gulak-1 Wells from Akri¬-Bijeel Block within the Bekhme Anticline area, North of Erbil City.  The area is a part of the Zagros Fold and Thrust Belt, and is locally situated within the High Folded Zone. Typically, the Baluti Formation is composed of gray and green shale calcareous dolomite with intercalations of thinly bedded dolomites, dolomitic limestones, and silicified limestones which in places are brecciated. The geochemical indicators obtained from Rock-Eval pyrolysis of  Baluti samples gave Total Organic Carbon content (TOC wt. %) average values of 0.15 and 0.18 wt. % and potential hydrocarbon content (S2) average values of 0.78 mg HC/g rock  and 0.58 mg HC/g rock for Bekhme-1 and Gulak-1 respectively, suggesting  a source rock of poor potential. The type of organic matter is of mixed type II-III and III kerogens with  an average Tmax value of  440 °C for both boreholes, exhibiting early to peak  stage of thermal maturity.  Considering the results of this study, it is concluded that Baluti Formation in the studied area can not be regarded as a potential source rock for hydrocarbon generation.


Download data is not yet available.


Abdula, A.R. (2018). Organic petrography, mineralogy, Rock-Eval pyrolysis of Naokelekan Formation and generation history in Upper Triassic-Jurassic sequences in Kurdistan Region, Iraq. Ph.D. Thesis. Det. of Pet.Goesciences, Faculty of Science, Soran University, Iraq, pp. 195.
Akande, S.O., Oja, O.J., Erdtmann, B.D. & Hetenyi, M. (2005). Paleoenvironments, organic petrology and Rock-Eval studies on source rock facies of the Lower Maastrichtian Patti Formation, southern Bida Basin, Nigeria, Journal of African Earth Sciences, 41(5), 394-406.
Akram, R.K. & Naqshabandi. S.F. (2018). Palynofacies and Source Rock Evaluation of Late Triassic Baluti Formation, from two selected wells, in the Northwestern Kurdistan Region, Iraq. Polytechnic Journal, 8(2), 222-235.
Al-Ameri, T.K., Al-Khafaji, A.J., Zumberge, J. (2009). Palynofacies and hydrocarbon generation potential of the upper Triassic Kurra Chine formation and lower part of the Baluti Formation, Mosul Block, Northwestern Iraq. Arabian Journal of Geosciences, 2(3), 273-283. doi:
Al-Juboury, A.I. & Tom, M.C. (2013). Petrologic and geochemical interpretation of a transitional Triassic-Jurassic boundary sections from North Iraq. Geological Journal, 50(2), 157–172.
Al-Mashaikie, S., Abdul-Razzak, S. & Nasser, M. (2016). Sedimentology of the Baluti Formation in the Galley Derash, Amadiya, North Iraq: insight on carbonate turbidite facies and their depositional environmental. Arabian Journal of Geosciences, 9(19). doi: 10.1007/s12517-016-2703-
Asaad, I. Sh. & Omer, M. (2019). Diagenetic history and porosity types of the Baluti Formation Late Triassic, Gally Derash, Duhok Governate, Kurdistan Region and Northern Iraq. Iraqi Bulletin, 15(2), 51-70.
Azo, N.M., Hanna, M.T., Edilbi, A. N.F. (2020). Palaeoenvironmental Interpretation of the Upper Triassic Formation in two selected sections at Amediya District, Kurdistan Region- Iraq: Insights from Palynofacies Study. Journal of Zankoy Sulaimani-A , 22(1), 123-134.
Baiyegunhi, T. L., Li, K., Gwavava, O., Wagner, N., & Baiyegunhi, C. (2020). Geochemical Evaluation of the Cretaceous Mudrocks and Sandstones (Wackes) in the Southern Bredasdorp Basin, Offshore South Africa: Implications for Hydrocarbon Potential. Minerals, 10(7), 595. doi:
Behar, F., Beaumont, V.& Penteado, H. D. (2001). Rock-Eval 6 Technology: Performances and Developments. Oil & Gas Science and Technology – Rev. IFP, 56 (2), 111-134.
Bellen Van, R.C., Dunnington, H.V., Wetzel, R.& Morton, D. (1959). Lexique Stratigraphique International, Vol. III, Asie. In: Dubertret, L., (director), Fasc. 10c, Iraq, Center Nat. Researche Scientifique (Paris). pp.333.
Bolton, C. M. (1958). The geology of Ranya area. Unpublished Report 59, SOM Report no. 271, Sight Investigation Company, Baghdad.
Buday, T. (1980). The regional geology of Iraq, Vol.1: Stratigraphy and Paleogeography, Publications of Iraq Geological Survey, Baghdad. pp. 445.
Csató, I., Kiss, K., Balázs, S., Tóth, S. & Varga, M. (2014). Upper Triassic-Jurassic depositional system in the Akri-Bjeel exploration Block, Iraq Kurdistan. MOL Group Scientific Magazine. 54-71.
Csontos, L., Sasvári, Á., Pocsai, T., Kósa, L.,. Salae, A.T, Ali, A. (2012). Structural evolution of the northwestern Zagros, Kurdistan Region, Iraq: Implications on oil migration. GeoArabia, 17(2), 81-116.
Dembicki, H. J. (2009). Three common source rock evaluation errors made by geologists during prospect or play appraisal. AAPG Bulletin, 93(3), 341–356.
Dembicki, H. J. (2017). Petroleum geochemistry for exploration and production. Amsterdam: Elsevier. pp. 342.
Edilbi, A.N.F., Maleko, M.A., Mohamed, A. Y. & Bowden, S.A. (2017). Evaluating the Baluti Formation at Sararu village, Ora Anticline, Iraqi Kurdistan: a stratigraphic and geochemical approach. Arabian Journal of Geosciences,10, 73. doi:
English, J.M., Lunn, G.A., Ferreira, L. & Yaku, G. (2015). Geologic evolution of the Iraqi Zagros, and its influence on the distribution of hydrocarbons in the Kurdistan Region. American Association of Petroleum Geologists Bulletin, 99 (2), 231 – 272.
Fouad, S.A. (2015). Tectonic map of Iraq, Scale 1: 1000 000, 3rdEdition. Iraqi Bulletin of Geology and Mining, 11 (1), 1–7.
Ghori, K.A.R. (2002). Modeling the hydrocarbon generative history of the Officer Basin, Western Australia. Petroleum Exploration Society of Australia, 29, 29–42.
Hanna, M.T. (2007). Palynology of the Upper Part of Baluti Formation (Upper Triassic) and The Nature of its Contact with the Sarki Formation (Lower Jurassic) at Amadyia District, Northern Iraq, Ph.D. dissertation (unpublished), University of Mosul, pp. 143.
Hunt, J.M. (1996). Petroleum Geochemistry and Geology (2nd ed.), W.H. Freeman and Company. pp.743.
Ibrahimbas, A.& Riediger, C. (2004). Hydrocarbon Source Rock Potential as determined by Rock-Eval 6/TOC Pyrolysis, Northeast British Columbia and Northwest Alberta. Resource Development and Geoscience Branch, Summary of Activities: British Columbia Ministry of Energy and Mines, 7-18.
Jassim, S.Z., Buday, T., Cicha, I.& Prouza, V. (2006). Late Permian-Liassic Megasequence AP6, Chapter 9, In: Jassim, S.Z, & Goff, J., (eds). Regional Geology of Iraq. Dolin, Prague and Moravian Museum, Brno, 106-116.
Jassim, S.Z. & Goff, J.C. (2006). Phanerozoic development of the Northern Arabian Plate, Chapter 3, In: S.Z. Jassim,, & J.C. Goff, (Eds). Regional Geology of Iraq. Dolin, Prague and Moravian Museum, Brno, 32-44.
Lafargue, E., Marquis, F., & Pillot, D. (1998). Rock-Eval 6 applications in hydrocarbon exploration, production and soil contamination studies. Revue de l'Institut Français du Pétrole, 53 (4), 421–437.
Law, C.A. (1999). Evaluating Source Rocks, In: Treatise of Petroleum Geology / Handbook of Petroleum Geology: Exploring for Oil and Gas Traps (AAPG).
Lunn, G. Miller, S.& Samarrai, A. (2019). Dating and correlation of the Baluti Formation, Kurdistan region: Implications for the regional recognition of a Carnian “marker dolomite” and a review of the Triassic to Early Jurassic sequence stratigraphy of the Arabian Plate. Journal of Petroleum Geology, 42(1), 5-36. doi: 10.1111/jpg.12722
Maky, A.B.F. & Ramadan, M.A. (2008). Nature of organic matter, thermal maturation and hydrocarbon potentiality of Khatatba Formation at east AbuGharadig Basin, northwestern desert, Egypt, Australian Journal of Basic and Applied Sciences, 2(2), 194-209.
Mustafa, B.H. (2015). Geochemistry, Provenance and tectonic setting of Alumina- Rich shale of Baluti Formation in two selected section, Iraqi Kurdistan region. M.Sc. Thesis, Salahadin University-Erbil.
MOL group report (2013). Available at
Nunez-Betelu, L. & Baceta, J. (1994). Basics and application of Rock-Eval/TOC pyrolysis. Munibe Ciencias Naturales. 46. 43-62.
Peters, K.E. (1986). Guideline of evaluating petroleum source rock using programmed pyrolysis, AAPG Bulletin, 70 (3), 318-329.
Peters, K.E. & Cassa, M. R. (1994). Applied Source Rock Geochemistry. In L. B. Magoon, & W. G. Bow, The Petroleum System-From Source to Trap. AAPG Memoir, 60, 93-120.
Peters, K.E., Walters, C. C. & Moldowan, J. M. (2005). The biomarker guide volume 2: biomarkers and isotopes in the environment and human history. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, pp. 471.
Pimmel, A. & Claypool, G. (2001). Introduction to Shipboard organic geochemistry on JOIDES Resolution. ODP Technical Note 30, 1-29.
Rabbani, A.R. & Kamali, M.R. (2005). Source rock evaluation and petroleum geochemistry, offshore SW Iran. Journal of Petroleum Geology, 28(4), 413–428.
Shingaly, S.W. (2016). Lithology and Diagenetic Processes of the Baluti Formation (Upper Triassic) from the Amadyia Area, Kurdistan Region, North-Iraq. Journal of Zankoy Sulaimani, Special Issue, GeoKurdistan II, 39-50.
Tissot, B.P.& Welte, D.H. (1984). Petroleum Formation and occurrence: a new approach to oil and gas exploration (2nd ed.). Berlin: Springer–Verlag. pp. 699.
Wetzel, R. (1950). Stratigraphy of the Amadia Region. MPC report. Manuscript report, GEOSURV, Baghdad.
How to Cite
F. Edilbi, A., Kolo, K., Khalid, B., Muhammad Salim, M., Hamad, S., & Ahmad, S. (2021, June 30). Source Rock Evaluation of the Upper Triassic Baluti Formation in Bekhme-1 and Gulak-1 Wells from Akri-Bijeel Block, Kurdistan-Iraq. UKH Journal of Science and Engineering, 5(1), 50-59.
Research Articles
Share |