The most prospective geological area for oil and gas in Slovenia is the Neogene Mura-Zala Basin situated in SW part of the Pannonian Basin System. Within the Mura-Zala Basin, Middle-to-Upper Miocene strata of the Petišovci area have a considerable potential for oil and gas reserves and resources. Oil and gas were discovered in this area in 1942 – as a continuation of the already known Lovaszi field in the neighbouring Hungary. Also, in Croatia, there were known oil and gas fields at Selnica and Peklenica, having been exploited since the mid of 19th century.
Oil and gas-bearing reservoirs of the Petišovci area (7 x 2 km wide) are divided into two bed-sets – the shallow and the deep one. Both consist of alternating 10-40 m thick impermeable marls and porous oil-and/or-gas-bearing sandstones of low porosity – below 15 %, decreasing with depth to ca. 7% only. The Petišovci hydrocarbons are therefore characterized as the tight gas and oil.
The shallow reservoirs occur in 4 main horizons in a depth interval from 1000 to 1800 m. They were exploited in the 1950s (mostly oil) and 1960s (mostly gas). Nowadays. they are depleted – offering a possibility for e.g. storage of imported natural gas or e.g. CO2. The deep reservoirs start at a depth of 2200 m and are developed as about 17 tight gas-bearing (“A-Q“) layers down to a depth of 3550 m (deepest wells), maybe even more. The deepest well was Mg-6/1985 (3858 m). It was the only one reaching the pre-Tertiary carbonate basement.
The whole set of the Petišovci reservoirs is a typical antiform setting formed by lifting between the Donat and Ljutomer reverse faults. It is interpreted that hydrocarbons were generated in an originally synform setting (to reach the oil and gas generation windows), which was later lifted. Lifting has lasted still in the Pontian (Uppermost Miocene) times as known from the coal measures antiform structure in the uppermost Mura Formation. The lifting with accompanying fissure system enabled migration of hydrocarbons upwards into porous sandstone reservoirs in which hydrocarbons were trapped by impermeable marl layers.
Miloš Markič, Dejan Šram
GeoZS – Geological Survey of Slovenia
* Content based on Markič et al. (2019): Oil and Gas in the Mura-Zala Basin (Petišovci-Dolina; NE Slovenia), presented at the AAPG Regional Meeting in Vienna, April 2019.
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