The role of radiogenic heat in maturation of organic matter within oil shales of Duwi formation in Quseir-Safaga District, Red Sea coastal area, Egypt
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The oil shale beds of Duwi Formation at Quseir-Safaga district in Egypt show a high content of organic matter (kerogen) and a fair pyrolysis oil yield. Kerogens of these rocks are composed mainly of marine amorphous and structured sapropelic liptinitic phytoclasts of algae with minor contribution of the humic materials. Also , these kerogens belong to the immature types I and II which are buried in the diagenesis stage of maturation. Although these kerogens are immature they show high vitrinite reflectances (up to 0.7 %) comparable with the catagenesis stage of maturation. The study of uranium contents of phosphorites within Duwi Formation indicates that the produced radiogenic heat of the uranium mass markedly contribute to the maturity level of the organic matter of oil shales. This explains presence of the high vitrinite reflectances which correspond to the temperature limits of the catagenesis stage.