Qualitative mineralogical analysis of Barracuda exploration well in the offshore Mannar Basin (the Indian Ocean) using FTIR and XRD techniques

Bhanuka Mahesha Gunathilake, Daham Taranga Jaywardana, Amila Sadaruwan Ratnayake, Madurya Adikaram


The Mannar Basin plays a vital role in petroleum exploration in Sri
Lanka, and its Barracuda exploration well was drilled up to 4206 m in depth. The objective of the current study is to identify mineralogy using Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) and X-ray diffraction (XRD) analyses. The FTIR and XRD analyses confirm the presence of quartz, feldspar, clay minerals (e.g. kaolinite, montmorillonite), calcite, and hematite in all marlstone and mudstones samples. These sedimentary rocks can be identified as potential petroleum source rocks in the Mannar Basin. Quartz, carbonate, and hematite cementations
are directly reduced porosity and permeability, and thus primary migration of hydrocarbons from potential source rocks. Clay minerals act as a seal for hydrocarbon migrations in the Mannar Basin. A variety of dominant clay mineral assemblages allows the reconstruction of several paleo climatic chronozones in warm/wet and arid climates. In contrast, feldspar dissolution promotes the primary migration of hydrocarbon from potential petroleum source rocks. Consequently, this study concluded that common minerals such as quartz, carbonate, and hematite are associated with the trapping and binding processes of hydrocarbons.
Keywords: Cementation, clay mineral, petroleum source rock, primary
hydrocarbon migration

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