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Organic Geochemistry, Petrography, Depositional Environment and Hydrocarbon Potential of the Eocene Coal Deposits of west Daranggiri Coalfield, Meghalaya

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Abstract

The Eocene coal deposits of west Daranggiri coalfield of Meghalaya is hosted in the Tura Formation. The coals are perhydrous in composition, rich in organic matters and poor in mineral content. The organic matters are dominantly represented by Type III kerogens contributed by terrestrial plants. Petrographic analysis confirms dominance of vitrinite with subordinate amounts of liptinite and inertinite. Maturity parameters like vitrinite reflectance, Rock-Eval Tmax, volatile matter content etc. indicate low thermal maturity of the coal within lignite to subbituminous rank. The coals are immature to act as petroleum source rock despite having high-quality organic matters. However, perhydrous nature of the organic matters and significant amount of liptinite macerals suggest that despite low thermal maturity, the coals might have some capacity to generate liquid hydrocarbon. High liptinite and perhydrous vitrinite contents of the coal may result in suppression of vitrinite reflectance, thus, underestimation of maturity. Presence of exsudatinite in the coal also points to generation of some liquid hydrocarbon. The coal deposits possess excellent potential for hydrogenation industry. The coals are characterized by very high rate of conversion from coal to oil and high oil yield. Indices of facies critical maceral association indicate the origin of the coal in wet swamps under mildly oxic to the anoxic environment with moist hydrodynamic condition. The high sulphur content of the coal, association of marine palynological assemblage and presence of limestone beds at the top of the Tura Formation point to nearshore environment of deposition.

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Acknowledgments

The authors are thankful to the Oil India Ltd for extending laboratory facilities for analytical works. The authors are also grateful to the Department of Science and Technology, Govt. of India, for updating laboratory facilities in the Department of Geological Sciences, Gauhati University through the FIST-2016 grant, which have been utilized for the present work.

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Correspondence to Sarat Phukan.

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Gogoi, M., Kumar, T.S. & Phukan, S. Organic Geochemistry, Petrography, Depositional Environment and Hydrocarbon Potential of the Eocene Coal Deposits of west Daranggiri Coalfield, Meghalaya. J Geol Soc India 95, 84–94 (2020) doi:10.1007/s12594-020-1389-0

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