Source and Reservoir Characteristics of the Eocene Mangahewa Formation in Taranaki Basin, New Zealand: Their implications on petroleum system

  • Mohamed Ragab Shalaby Universiti Brunei Darussalam
  • Nurhazwana Jumat University Brunei Darussalam
  • Md Aminul Islam Department of Geosciences, University Brunei Darussalam
  • Stavros Kalaitzidis University of Patras, Greece


The Middle to Late Eocene Mangahewa Formation in the Taranaki Basin has been evaluated for its petroleum system (source potential and reservoir qualities). The Mangahewa Formation is generally interpreted as an alternating  marginal to shallow marine environment, with lithologies consisting of sandstone, siltstone, mudstone and bitumonius coal. The pyrolysis results show very good source rock generative potential with total organic carbon content of 0.8-90.02 wt. % and hydrogen index values in the range of 54- 491 mg HC/g TOC, with a predominance of oil- and/or gas-prone, mixed Type II-III kerogen. Organic petrographical data reveal that the humic nature of coals being rich in perhydrous vitrinite whereas shales are rich in alginite and bituminite desplaying frequent of migrabitumens. Biomarker analysis suggests predominantly terrigenous origin, whereas pyrolysis Tmax data (414–447°C) and other maturity indicators such as biomarkers and vitrinite reflectance indicates immature and mature samples. Petrographic analyses show that the occurrence of compaction and cementation is succeeded by leaching of feldspars and dissolution of calcite cement. The reservoir samples exhibit largely good reservoir quality with porosity being the dominant feature. The average porosity value is 15.7%, with 21.4% average water saturation. The source and reservoir units are part of a complete petroleum system of the Mangahewa Formation, with the overlying Turi Formation seal rock. The petroleum processes of maturation, generation, and migration which started since Lower Miocene (18.8 Ma) have been recorded in many stratigraphic traps within the Mangahewa Formation or other faulted structural traps due to migration. The generation process is expected to continue to the present day as the source continues to attain maturity while it does not yet reach the peak generation.