Boletín de la Sociedad Geológica Mexicana

Volumen 74, núm. 1, A160621, 2022


Biomarcadores aplicados al estudio de crudos extraídos de la Formación Magallanes, Cuenca Austral, Argentina

Biomarkers applied to the study of crude oils extracted from the Magallanes Formation, Austral Basin, Argentina

Germán Tomas1, 2*, Adrián Acuña2

1Centro de Investigación y Transferencia de la Provincia de Santa Cruz, CONICET, Av. Lisandro de la Torre 860, Río Gallegos, 9400, Santa Cruz, Argentina.

2Grupo de Estudios Ambientales (GEA), Universidad Tecnológica Nacional, Facultad Regional Santa Cruz, Av. De los Inmigrantes 555, Río Gallegos, 9400, Santa Cruz, Argentina.

* Autor para correspondencia: (G. Tomas) This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

How to cite this article:

Tomas, G., Acuña, A., 2022, Biomarcadores aplicados al estudio de crudos extraídos de la Formación Magallanes, Cuenca Austral, Argentina, 74 (1), A160621.



In the stratigraphic column of the Austral basin, there are several units that behave as reservoir rocks, and one of them is the Magallanes Formation. Its lithological characteristics make it a unit of interest for the definition of the petroleum systems in the basin. For this reason, the organic geochemical biomarkers: saturated (n-paraffins, acyclic isoprenoids pristane and phytane, steranes and terpanes) and aromatic (naphthalenes, phenanthrenes and dibenzothiophenes) were evaluated in five crude oils from two Magallanes Formation reservoirs in order to establish their precursor organic matter type, the thermal maturity degree and, the lithology and depositional conditions that controlled the accumulation and preservation of organic matter in their source rock. The crude oils were subjected to separation of their aliphatic and aromatic fractions by solid-liquid adsorption column analyzed each one by gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS). From the diagnostic ratios, calculated with the relative abundances of the biomarkers, it is suggested that the organic matter source (mixed marine-continental), were deposited in a sedimentary environment with moderate-to-low oxygen concentration (disoxyc-suboxyc), in which the source rock was characterized as marine and siliciclastic in nature (delta dominated shelf shales). The only difference was observed in the crude oils thermal maturity, with the Agua Fresca being mature and the María Inés located on the borderline between mature and over-mature. The experimental evidence suggests a thermal maturation process over Maria Inés crude oils in their reservoir.

Keywords: biomarkers, organic- matter, Magallanes Formation, Austral basin, Argentina.