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The Dakla Formation is late Campanian to Paleocene in age and, in eastern Egypt, is overlain by the Nubian Sandstone and underlain by the phosphate-bearing Duwi Formation. Lithologically, samples of the Dakla shale member collected in the Red Sea area consist of marls to marly clays, range from brown to black in color, and are bounded at the top and bottom by phosphate-bearing strata. Organic carbon and extractable C15+ hydrocarbon concentrations for samples from Quseir, Hamrawein, and Safaga ranged from 3.8 to 5.9% Corg and 550 to 2,400 ppm HC, and may be petroleum source rocks in areas where burial and thermal conditions are adequate. Shale samples from the Quseir region yielded Fischer assay results of 40 gal/ton, and thus have considerable potent al as oil shales.
Samples from the Sibaiya region in the Nile Valley are light to dark gray shale and average 0.2% Corg. In this area, the phosphate deposits associated with the Dakla Formation are presently being exploited.
The Dakla shale samples from the Abu Tartur region, in the Western Desert, contain organic carbon concentrations in excess of 4.0%. Such values are considered suitable for potential petroleum source rocks where other conditions are satisfied. Recent exploration activity in the Western Desert region may make petroleum source rock studies of the Dakla shales increasingly important.
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