Saturated biomarkers in the estimation of organic geochemical homogeneity of crude oils from four oil fields in Libya

Ramadan Musbah M. Saheed, Tatjana Šolević Knudsen, Musbah Abduljalil M. Faraj, Zlatko Nikolovski, Hans Peter Nytoft, Branimir Jovančićević


Seven crude oils from four oil fields in the Basins Sirte and Murzuq in Libya were investigated in order to estimate their organic geochemical homogeneity. Saturated biomarkers (n-alkanes and isoprenoids) were analyzed using gas chromatography - mass spectrometry (GC-MS). Parameters calcu­la­ted from the distributions of n-alkanes and isoprenoid aliphatic alkanes, pristane and phytane were used to interpret the organic geochemical charac­teristics of the oils. Based on the high relative concentration of lower n-alkane homologues in the C11 - C16 range and high API values the oils were classified as light oils. These results also implied that the oils were not biodegraded. The parameters calculated from the distributions of saturated biomarkers indicated that all investigated oils were generated from the source rocks containing organic matter of a similar marine origin but with contribution of the terrestrial organic matter. The results also demonstrated that these source rocks were deposited in an oxic environment. The same source rock or the same type of the source rocks for all seven samples were postulated. It was concluded that, if the crude oils from these distant basins originated from the same source rocks, they must had had different lengths of their migration pathways.


oil-oil correlation; Murzuq Basin; Sirte Basin

Full Text:

PDF (739 kB)


B. P. Tissot, D. H. Welte, Petroleum Formation and Occurrence, 2nd Ed., Springer–Ver¬lag, Heidelberg, 1984 (

K. E. Peters, C. C. Walters, J. M. Moldowan, The Biomarker Guide, Vol. 2: Biomarkers and Isotopes in the Petroleum Exploration and Earth History, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 2005 (

D. Waples, Geochemistry in Petroleum Exploration, International Human Resources Development Corporation, Boston, 1985 (

J. Schwarzbauer, B. Jovančićević, Fundamentals in Organic Geochemistry - Fossil Matter in the Geosphere, Springer, Heidelberg, New York, London, 2015 (

D. Hallett, D. Clark-Lowes, Petroleum Geology of Libya, 2nd Ed., Elsevier B.V., Amsterdam, 2016 (ISBN: 978-0-444-63517-4)

W. Sh. El Diasty, S. Y. El Beialy, K. E. Peters, H. El Atfy, A. M. Gheith, N. N. Agha, J. Petrol. Geol. 39 (2016) 393 (

S. Aboglila, M. Elaalem, Y. Ezlit, E. Farifr, Adv. Res. 15 (2018) 1 (

M. A. M. Faraj, T. Šolević Knudsen, H. P. Nytoft, B. Jovančićević, Journal of Petroleum Science and Engineering 147 (2016) 605 (

M. A. M. Faraj, T. Šolević Knudsen, K. Stojanović, S. Ivković Pavlović, H. P. Nytoft, B. Jovančićević, J. Serb. Chem. Soc. 82 (2017) 1315 (

A. A. El Bassoussi, S. M. El-sabagh, F. M. Harb, M. M. El Nady, Pet. Sci. Technol. 36 (2018) 384 (

Z. S. Mashhadi, A. R. Rabbani, Int. J. Coal Geol. 146 (2015) 118 (

D. Li, R. Li,.B. Wang, Z. Liu, X, Wu, F. Liu, B. Zhao, J. Cheng, W. Kang, Ac. Geochim. 35 (2016) 408 (

H. S. Hassan, C. C. G. Kendall, Hydrocarbon provinces of Libya: A petroleum system study, in Petroleum systems of the Tethyan region: AAPG Memoir 106, L. Marlow, C. Kendall, L. Yose, Eds., American Association of Petroleum Geologists, Bath, United Kingdom, 2014 (

M. Radke, H. Willsch, D. H. Welte, Anal. Chem. 52 (1980) 406 (


Copyright (c) 2020 Journal of the Serbian Chemical Society

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.

5 Year Impact Factor 1.023
138 of 177 journals)