Morariu D.

MSc in Geology, 1967, University of Bucharest.
Exploration geologist - focus of interest: Carpathians - flysch and molasse sedimentology (Geological and Geophysical Exploration company), Bucharest 1967-1970.
Senior researcher geologist - focus of interest: south and western Carpathians – wrench tectonics, pelitic rocks and carbonate diagenesis, thermal maturation of organic matter (Geological Survey of Romania), Bucharest 1971-1980.
Ph.D in Geology doctoral study and dissertation preparing period, Basel University 1980-1985.
Ph.D in Geology, Tectonics and Petrology (Helvetic Nappes - tectonic evolution and petrology), Basel University 1985.
Petrophysics studies concerning northern Switzerland subsurface geology, Bern University, 1985-1988.
Senior petroleum geologist in charge of hydrocarbon field evaluation and potential analyses for several CIS countries (Russia – partly, Ukraine, Georgia and Azerbaijan), IHS company, 1988-2012.
Independent Petroleum Geologist of the Journal "Neftegazovaya Geologiya. Teoriya I Praktika" (since 2012).
Fields of interest: Structural Geology, Tectonics and Regional Geology, Basin Analysis.
Author of more than 40 scientific publications concerning several tectonic units belonging to Carpathians, Alps and Caucasus folded belts.
Hard-extracted reserves, unconventional hydrocarbon sources
Section editor – PhD in geology and mineralogy Petukhov A.V.
Article # 10_2018 submitted on 03/12/2018 displayed on website on 03/30/2018
25 p.
pdf  Сleavage fabric – significant faсtor creating discrete hydrocarbon migration pathways in diagenetic to low metamorphic pelites
*The article is presented in English.
From the point of view of petroleum geology, the transformation experienced by pelitic rocks with petroleum potential in the regional burial process in the domain of diagenesis to low metamorphism past a certain point can by a significant risk factor - an important reduction of porosity-permeability, petroleum pathways disturbing, and over maturation of organic matter. The cleavage structures developed during the conversion into the new structural conditions can even produce open space volumes with crenulation distance spaces varying in the presented areas from 20 to 150 micrometers, spaces that could constitute discrete pathways for a variety of fluids. Certain terrains with a favourable petrogenetic profile (pelitic rocks with cleavage development and temperatures conditions not exceeding 100-150°C) may be considered as potential petroleum discrete pathways. For petroleum prospecting activity the previously described terrains could represent a possible interesting areas.

Keywords: pelitic rocks, crenulation distance space, cleavage fabric, discrete pathways for petroleum fluids, potential petroleum bearing area.
article citation Morariu D., Averyanova O.Yu. Сleavage fabric – significant faсtor creating discrete hydrocarbon migration pathways in diagenetic to low metamorphic pelites. Neftegazovaya Geologiya. Teoriya I Praktika, 2018, vol. 13, no. 1, available at:
   Bjorlykke, K., J. Jahren, N.H. Mondol, O. Marcussen, D. Croize, C. Peltonen, and B. Thyberg, 2009, Sediment Compaction and Rock. Properties: S&D Article #50192. Web accessed 27 October 2010.
   Bridge J.S., and R.V. Demicco, 2008, Earth surface processes, landforms and sediment deposits: New York, Cambridge University Press, 830 p.
   Bucher K. and M. Frey, 2002. Petrogenesis of Metamorphic Rocks. Springer-Verlag; Berlin, Heidelberg; pp. 341.
   Chalmers G., R.M. Bustin and I. Powers, 2009. A pore by any other name would be as small: The importance of meso- and microporosity in shale gas capacity (abs.): AAPG Search and Discovery article 90090, 1 p.: March 14, 2011).
   Day-Stirrat, R.J., A. McDonnell, and L.J. Wood, 2010, Diagenetic and seismic concerns associated with interpretation of deeply buried “mobile schales”, in L. Wood, ed., Schale tectonics: AAPG Memoir 93, p. 5-27.
   Glasmacher U.A, Bauer W., Clauer N., Puchkov V.N., 2004. Neoproterozoic metamorpishm and deformation at the southeastern margin of the East European Craton Uralides, Russia. International Journal of Earth Sciences (Geol Rundsch) (2004) November 2004, Volume 93, Issue 5, pp. 921–944. DOI:
   Jacob G., H.J. Kisch, and B.A. van der Pluijm, 2000. The relationship of phyllosilicate orientation, X-ray diffraction intensity ratios, and c/b fissility ratios of the Helvetic zone of the Swiss Alps and the Caledonides of Jamtland, central western Sweden: Journal of Structural Geology, 22 (2), p. 245-258.
   Katsube T.J., 2000. Shale permeability and pore-structure evolution characteristics, Geological Survey of Canada. Report 2000, E15, 9 p.
   Katsube T.J., M.A. Williamson, 1998. Shale petrophysical characteristics: permeability history of subsiding shales; in Shales and Mudstones II: Petrography, Petrophysics, Geochemistry and Economic Geology, (ed.) J. Schieber, W. Zimmerle, and P.S. Sethi; E. Schweizerbart Science Publishers, Stuttgart, Germany, p. 69-91.
   Kisch H.J., 1990. Calibration of the anchizone: a critical comparison of illite ‘crystallinity’ scales used for definition, Journal of Metamorphic Geology, 8: 31–46. DOI:
   Kisch, H.J., 1991. Development of slaty cleavage and degree of very low grade metamorphism: a review. Journal of Metamorphic Geology, 9, pp. 735–750. DOI:
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   Loucks R.G., M.R. Reed, S.C. Ruppel and U. Hammes, 2012. Spoctrum of pore types and networks in mudrocks and a descriptive classification for matrix-related mudrock pores, AAPG Bulletin, v. 96, no. 6 (June 2012), pp. 1071–1098. DOI:
   Mastalerz, M., A. Schimmelmann, A. Drobniak, and Y. Chen, 2013, Porosity of Devonian and Mississippian New Albany Shale across a maturation gradient: Insights from organic petrology, gas adsorption, and mercury intrusion, AAPG Bulletin, v. 97, no. 10 (October 2013), pp. 1621–1643. DOI:
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   Mondol, N.H., K. Bjorlykke, J. Jahren, and K. Hoeg, 2007, Experimental mechanical compaction of clay mineral aggregates - changes in physical properties of mudstones during burial: Marine and Petroleum Geology, v. 24, p. 289–311. DOI:
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Petroleum potential and development
Section editor – PhD in geology and mineralogy Zharkov A.M.
Article # 32_2016 submitted on 07/31/2016 displayed on website on 09/28/2016
22 p.
pdf  Assessments complexity of petroleum systems hydrocarbon potential
The current level of hydrocarbon potential evaluation of unconventional hydrocarbon accumulations is analysed. The approaches to the evaluation of technically recoverable hydrocarbon resources from source rocks of various sedimentary basins are discussed, for this purpose the calculations based on parameters of selected petroleum systems and their geochemical characteristics are applied.

Keywords: petroleum system, source rocks, hydrocarbon technically recoverable resources, hydrocarbon potential evaluation.
article citation Averyanova O.Yu., Morariu D. Variativnost' otsenok uglevodorodnogo potentsiala neftegazovykh sistem [Assessments complexity of petroleum systems hydrocarbon potential]. Neftegazovaya Geologiya. Teoriya I Praktika, 2016, vol. 11, no. 3, available at:
   Ahlbrandt T.S., Charpentier R.R., Klett T.R., Schmoker J., Schenk C.J. Global Resource Estimates from Total Petroleum Systems. G. Ulmishek (eds.). AAPG Memoir 86, 2005, 324 p.
   Al Duhailan M. Petroleum-expulsion fracturing in organic-rich shales: genesis and impact on unconventional pervasive petroleum systems. - Colorado School of Mines, 2014 – 227 r.
   Aver'yanova O.Yu. Neftegazovye sistemy slantsevykh materinskikh formatsiy [Petroleum systems of shale source formations]. Synopsis of dissertation for the degree of PhD in geological and mineralogical sciences. St. Petersburg: VNIGRI, 2015, 24 p.
   Bazhenova T.K. Bituminoznye tolshchi Rossii i otsenka resursov UV [Bituminous strata of Russia and hydrocarbon resources evaluation]. Trudnoizvlekaemye zapasy i netraditsionnye istochniki uglevodorodnogo syr'ya. Problemy, perspektivy, prognozy: Proceedings of the conference. St. Petersburg: VNIGRI, 2015. 1 CD-R
   Doust H. Sedimentary basin evolution and conventional and unconventional petroleum system development. Swiss bulletin for applied geology. - 2011. - V. 16/2. - PP. 57-62. DOI:
   EIA: World Shale Gas and Shale Oil Resource Assessment. Report prepared for US Energy Information Administration by Advanced Resources International Inc., May, 17, 2013. URL:
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   Lopatin N.V. Kontseptsiya neftegazovykh generatsionno-akkumulyatsionnykh sistem kak integriruyushchee nachalo v obosnovanii poiskovo-razvedochnykh rabot [The concept of petroleum generation-accumulative systems as the integrating principle in exploration substantiation]. Geoinformatika, 2006, no. 3, p. 101–120.
   Meyer P.K. Shale source rocks a game-changer due to 8-to-1 resource potential. Oil & Gas Journal 05/07/2012.
   Neft' i gaz nizkopronitsaemykh slantsevykh tolshch - rezerv syr'evoy bazy uglevodorodov Rossii [Oil and gas in low-permeability shale strata - Russia reserves of raw hydrocarbon base]. O.M. Prishchepa, O.Yu. Aver'yanova, A.A. Il'inskiy, D. Morariu; Editor. O.M. Prischepa St. Petersburg: VNIGRI, 2014, 323 p. Trudy VNIGRI.
   Neruchev S.G., Smirnov S.V. Otsenka potentsial'nykh resursov uglevodorodov na osnove ontogeneza [Assessment of potential hydrocarbon resources on the basis of ontogenesis]. Teoriya i praktika neftegeologicheskogo prognoza: sb. statey. St. Petersburg: VNIGRI, 2008, p. 7-26.
   Neruchev S.G., Vassoevich N.B., Lopatin N.V. O shkale katageneza v svyazi s neftegazoobrazovaniem [On the scale of katagenesis in connection with oil and gas formation]. Proceedings of the International Geological Congress. Reports of Soviet geologists. Fossil Fuels. Moscow: Nauka, 1976, p. 42-62.
   Prischepa O., Aver'yanova O. Neftegazonosnye slantsy Vostochno-Evropeyskoy platformy [Oil and gas bearing shales of the East European platform]. Oil & Gas Journal Russia, 2014, no. 1-2, p. 48-52.
   Prischepa O.M. Kompleksnyy sposob kolichestvennoy otsenki resursov nefti i gaza v zonakh neftegazonakopleniya [Comprehensive way to quantify the oil and gas resources in petroleum accumulation areas]. Neftegazovaya geologiya. Teoriya i praktika, 2011, vol. 6, no. 4,
   Spravochnik po geokhimii nefti i gaza [Handbook on geochemistry of oil and gas]. Editor S.G. Neruchev. St. Petersburg: Nedra, 1998, 576 p.
Hard-extracted reserves, unconventional hydrocarbon sources
Section editor – PhD in geology and mineralogy Yakutseni V.P.
Article # 19_2013 submitted on 05/15/2013 displayed on website on 06/10/2013
28 p.
pdf  Bakken Formation: geology, development history and petroleum potential
The Upper Devonian and Lower Mississipian unconventional (continuous) oil resource – Bakken Formation, one of the most distinctive stratigraphic sequences in the Williston Basin (underlying parts of Montana, North Dakota, Saskatchewan and Manitoba) in USA and Canada is investigated. The geological and geochemical characteristics of the Bakken-Lodgepole section and its petroleum system are discussed. The development history of Bakken Formation is outlined. The production rate from tight reservoirs of Bakken Formation has increased significantly due to the implementation of new horizontal drilling technology with multy-stage formation hydraulic fracturing.

Key words: tight reservoir, petroleum potential, horizontal drilling, petroleum system, shale, Bakken Formation.
article citation Prishchepa O.M., Averyanova O.Yu., Vysotskiy V.I., Morariu D. Formatsiya Bakken: geologiya, neftegazonosnost' i istoriya razrabotki [Bakken Formation: geology, development history and petroleum potential ]. Neftegazovaya Geologiya. Teoriya I Praktika, 2013, vol. 8, no. 2, available at:
   Clarc D., 2011. Bakken Formation sourced Oils beneath Stratex leased land in Sheridan contry, Montana: Report Geoval Consulting, LLC, available at: (retrieved 6th December 2013).
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   Jarvie, D. M., 2001. Williston Basin Petroleum Systems: Inferences from Oil Geochemistry and Geology // The Mountain Geologist, Vol. 38, No. 1 (January 2001), p 19-41.
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   Pollastro, R.M., Roberts, L.N.R., and Cook, T.A., 2011, Geologic assessment of technically recoverable oil in the Devonian and Mississippian Bakken Formation, chap. 5 of U.S. Geological Survey Williston Basin Province Assessment Team, Assessment of undiscovered oil and gas resources of the Williston Basin Province of North Dakota, Montana, and South Dakota, 2010: U.S. Geological Survey Digital Data Series DDS–69–W, 34 p.
   Price, L.C., Ging, T., Daws, T., Love, A., Pawlewicz, M., and Anders, D., 1984, Organic metamorphism in the Mississippian–Devonian Bakken Shale North Dakota portion of the Williston Basin, in Woodward, J., Meissner, F.S., and Clayton, J.L., eds., Hydrocarbon source rocks of the greater Rocky Mountain region: Rocky Mountain Association of Geologists, p. 83–133.
   Prishchepa O.M., Aver'yanova O.Yu. Rol' netraditsionnykh istochnikov uglevodorodnogo syr'ya v mineral'no-syr'evoy politike [Role of unconventional hydrocarbon resources in the mineral policy]. Mineral'ne resursy Rossii. Ekonomika i upravlenie, 2013, no. 1, p. 21-24.
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Hard-extracted reserves, unconventional hydrocarbon sources
Section editor – PhD in geology and mineralogy Yakutseni V.P.
Article # 3_2013 submitted on 11/28/2012 displayed on website on 01/16/2013
18 p.
pdf  Some aspects of oil shale - finding kerogen to generate oil*
*The article is presented in two languages, English and Russian.
Oil demand is predicted to continue to increase despite the high price of oil. The lagging supply increased the prices for oil and gas and a definitive oil replacement has still not been found. Huge oil shale resources discovered in the world, if developed, may increase petroleum supplies. Developing of oil shale needs the availability of low cost production; the greatest risks facing oil shale developing are higher production expenses and lower oil prices. There are several technologies for producing oil from kerogen bearing oil shale, by pyrolysis (heating, retorting). Oil shale is still technologically difficult and expensive to produce and the major impediment is cost. Developing oil shale accumulations means to face huge challenges, but an efficient oil shale development can be accomplished and an acceptable oil shale industry based on new technologies can be built nowadays.

Key words: shale, continuous accumulation, oil shale, shale oil, total organic carbon, Rock-Eval, reserves estimation, Fischer assay, mining and retorting, in situ retorting and extraction, in capsule extraction.
article citation Morariu D., Averyanova O.Yu. Nekotorye aspekty neftenosnosti slantsev: ponyatiynaya baza, vozmozhnosti otsenki i poisk tekhnologiy izvlecheniya nefti [Some aspects of oil shale - finding kerogen to generate oil]. Neftegazovaya Geologiya. Teoriya I Praktika, 2013, vol. 8, no. 1, available at:
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Hard-extracted reserves, unconventional hydrocarbon sources
Section editor – PhD in geology and mineralogy Yakutseni V.P.
Article # 51_2012 submitted on 04/23/2012 displayed on website on 09/27/2012
16 p.
pdf  Contribution to hydrocarbon occurrence in basement rocks*
*The article is presented in English.

Generally considered as non-productive, the basement hydrocarbons reservoirs were for long time neglected by the exploration activity, however as a matter of fact in various areas of the world basement rocks represent important oil and gas reservoir. Hydrocarbons may be accumulated in any igneous, metamorphic or cataclastic rocks with secondary porosity (tectonic porosity and /or dissolution porosity). Basement cataclasites – fault related rocks, produced by brittle deformation at elevated strain rates - can develop an important secondary porosity. Cataclasis can overprint various igneous rocks and metamorphite and may play an important role in the final (total) porosity of the basement. Following the acceptance of igneous and metamorphic rocks as hydrocarbons reservoirs in various petroliferous regions throughout the world, the cataclasites can be considered aptly too to draw the attention of the exploration activity.

Key words: hydrocarbons, reservoirs, basement reservoirs, igneous rocks, metamorphic rocks, cataclasites, fault related rocks, brittle deformation, secondary porosity, exploration activity.
article citation Morariu D. Issledovanie skopleniy uglevodorodov v porodakh fundamenta [Contribution to hydrocarbon occurrence in basement rocks]. Neftegazovaya Geologiya. Teoriya I Praktika, 2012, vol. 7, no. 3, available at:

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Regional petroleum geology
Section editor – PhD in geology and mineralogy Makarevich V.N.
Article # 22_2009 submitted on 06/18/2009 displayed on website on 06/30/2009
14 p.
pdf  Cretaceus play - new exploration potential in the Eastern Georgia*
*The article is presented in English.

Georgian oil and gas fields belong to the Black Sea and Caspian Sea hydrocarbon provinces. The geology of Georgia is characterized by two foreland basins: Rioni in the west and Kartli/Upper Kura in the east. They are bounded to the north and south by orogenic belts with complex internal nappes configuration: respectively, the Greater Caucasus and Adzharia-Trialet. In the Rioni Basin, the source rock is represented by the Malm bituminous shales and carbonates and the traps are either anticlines/faulted anticlines or stratigraphic. Hydrocarbon migration occurred in Neocomian time and during the Oligocene-Miocene. In the Kura Basin, the most prolific source rocks are Upper Jurassic, Upper Eocene and Oligocene clays. Oil generation by the Oligocene-Lower Miocene Maykop Fm. started in Lower Pliocene. Some 18 oil and gas accumulations have been discovered in Georgia, including 15 in the Kura Basin, amongst which the 236 (P+P) MMbbl Samgori-Patardzeuli and 58 MMbbl (P+P) Ninotsminda Eocene fields are the best known. The Georgian fields are ageing and exploration of the new Upper Cretaceous carbonate play is seen as a means to stop the rapid decline of the country reserves. Successful analogues are known on the northern side of the Caucasus and two operators, CanArgo and Frontera, started investing in both wildcats and seismic acquisition to further define this play on the southern side of the Caucasus. The first well, Manavi 11, successfully demonstrated the validity of the concept when it flowed good quality oil and gas. The Manavi structure is currently (2006) y being appraised, while more prospect locations are being prepared with modern seismic coverage and are awaiting investors to participate in drilling activity. The new Cretaceous play could give new perspectives for the future exploration activity in the Eastern Georgia.
Key words: Petroleum geology, tectonics, play, Mesozoic, Cenozoic, Rioni Basin, Kura Basin, Terek-Caspian Basin, Greater Caucasus.
article citation Morariu D., Noual V. Cretaceus play - new exploration potential in the Eastern Georgia // Neftegazovaya Geologiya. Teoriya I Praktika. – 2009. - V.4. - #2.-