Although the first petroleum fields in the Mozambique basin were discovered more than 60 years ago, the composition and origin of petroleum fluids in this basin are largely unknown. We studied the geochemical composition of petroleum gases and liquids from the Inhassoro, Pande and Temane fields located onshore Mozambique. The gases are relatively dry (methane-dominated, average C1
) ratio is ~0.96), have pure thermogenic origin, originate predominantly from marine shale source organofacies and show no evidence of primary microbial gas or biodegradation. Most condensates have relatively high API gravity up to 76 degrees, are very mature and contain only traces of biomarkers, likely from migration contamination. However, biomarkers in the light oil from the Inhassoro field indicate that the oil derived from sub-oxic marine shales of the Late Cretaceous age. We suggest that the Aptian-Coniacian Domo Shale is the likely source rock for petroleum gases and liquids in the studied fields. Our geochemical data, including gas isotopes, as well as source-specific and age-specific biomarkers, exclude coals in the Late Carboniferous—Early Jurassic Karoo Supergroup as effective source rocks for the studied fields.
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