Petroleum systems modelling as an exploration tool: from surface seismic acquisition to basin modelling: a case study from a periplatform basin in Northern Adriatic
The Adriatic Sea hosts important historically explored hydrocarbon provinces. In the northern areas, the main sources of hydrocarbon productivity are from biogenic gas reservoirs located in Quaternary thick deltaic depositional systems related to the Apennine and Dinaric foreland domain. In addition, Mesozoic thermogenic oil plays were identified and exploited in the Southern areas. Herein, we use basin and petroleum systems modelling (BPSM) techniques to investigate the still unproved thermogenic hydrocarbon potential of deep Mesozoic basins in the North Adriatic Sea and to correlate the results with the sedimentary evolution of proven petroleum systems in the Central and South Adriatic, both in the Italian and Croatian offshore areas. We used the regional CROP-M16 marine seismic profile in the eastern segment of the study area, where it cuts the western margin of the Dinaric carbonate platform and reaches the pelagic domain of the Umbria-Marche basin intersecting the Barbara isolated platform (Figure 1). We reprocessed the 2D seismic data set to obtain the correct dips and depths of the geological structures from a depth-migrated profile. During the interpretation phase, we integrated the information from profile CROP-M16 with the orthogonal CROP-M17B and C profiles that are intersecting the Alessandra-001 exploration well. The interpretation allowed a detailed analysis of the main lithological discontinuities and of the fault system. We used the interpreted features together with the petrophysical parameters inferred by the available wells in the area and by literature, for 2D petroleum systems modelling. Our simulation integrated the available information to produce a set of possible scenarios of basin development, with the objective to understand the maturation and migration of hydrocarbons.