Api gravities and geochemical evaluation of crude oils from sapele, niger – delta, nigeria

  • U Uzoegbu
  • A J C Madu
  • U Ugwueze
  • O Omang
Keywords: API Gravity, isopreniods, terpanes, steranes, Depositional environment, Sapele.


The investigation is to provide information on source organic matter input, depositional conditions and the correlation between crude oils recovered from Sapele oilfield in the Niger Delta. A suite of twenty-five crude oils from the Agbada reservoirs (synsedimentary) of the Tertiary Niger Delta (Southern Nigeria) were analysed based on API gravities and geochemically compared with extracts from source rock of the Akata and Agbada Formations. The Sapele shallow reservoirs occur between the depths of 4000ft and 6000ft, containing heavy crudes with API gravities 20 – 22 degrees. The deep reservoirs lie within 7000ft and 12000ft accumulating the light crudes with API gravities of 24.70-35.60 degrees, and viscocity of 1.64cP. The investigated biomarkers indicated that the Sapele oils were derived from mixed marine and terrigenous organic matter and deposited under suboxic conditions. This has been achieved from normal alkane and acyclic isoprenoids distributions, terpane and sterane biomarkers. These oils were also generated from source rock with a wide range of thermal maturity and ranging from early-mature to peak oil window. Based on molecular indicators of organic source input and depositional environment diagnostic biomarkers, one petroleum system operates in the Niger Delta Region; as observed on the source rocks from the Agbada organic – rich shale sediments. Therefore, the hydrocarbon exploration processes should be concentrating on the Akata and Agbada area of the Tertiary strata for determining the source kitchen.

Author Biographies

U Uzoegbu

 Department of Geology, University of Port Harcourt, Rivers State, Nigeria


A J C Madu

 Department of Physics/Geophysics, Federal University Otuoke, Bayelsa State, Nigeria.


U Ugwueze

Department of Geology, University of Port Harcourt, Rivers State, Nigeria


O Omang

 Department of Geology, University of Calabar, Cross River State.


Journal Identifiers

eISSN: 2992-4502
print ISSN: 1596-6798