Biomarker analysis of the upper Jurassic Naokelekan and Barsarin formations in the Miran Well-2, Miran oil field, Kurdistan region, Iraq

  • Ibrahim M. J. Mohialdeen
  • Karwan A. Mustafa
  • Danyar A. Salih
  • Mark A. Sephton
  • Diyar A. Saeed
Original Paper


The Miran oilfield is one of the new oil fields in Kurdistan region, northern Iraq, located in the Sulaimani Governorate. Twelve Cuttings samples from the Upper Jurassic Naokelekan and Barsarin formations in well Miran-2 were selected for detailed organic geochemical investigations. All the samples were subjected to bitumen extraction in order to study any biomarkers present using gas chromatography-mass spectrometry. The dominance of low-molecular-weight n-alkanes and other calculated parameters indicate a marine source for the organic matter derived from planktonic algal and bacterial precursors deposited under anoxic conditions. The isoprenoids/n-alkanes ratios indicate type II and mixed II/III kerogen for both formations. The type II/III kerogen is characteristic of transitional environment under anoxic to dysoxic conditions as also indicated by the homohopane index for studied samples. More argillaceous carbonate rocks were deposited when reducing conditions were prevalent. Medium to high gammacerane index values in the rock extracts probably indicate a stratified water column during deposition of both formations. The studied samples from both formations have entered peak oil window maturity as reflected from the biomarker ratios from both aliphatic and aromatic fractions of the extracts.


Naokelekan Barsarin Anoxic conditions Organic matter Kurdistan Biomarkers 



The authors would like to thank the Ministry of Natural Resources of Kurdistan Regional Government for facility to obtain samples. The comments from two anonymous reviewers are highly appreciated and made this manuscript stronger.


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Copyright information

© Saudi Society for Geosciences 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ibrahim M. J. Mohialdeen
    • 1
  • Karwan A. Mustafa
    • 1
  • Danyar A. Salih
    • 1
  • Mark A. Sephton
    • 2
  • Diyar A. Saeed
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of Geology, College of ScienceUniversity of SulaimaniKurdistanIraq
  2. 2.Department of Earth Science and Engineering, Imperial College LondonLondonUK
  3. 3.Kurdistan Institution for Strategic Study and Scientific ResearchSulaimaniIraq

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