The Lower Palaeozoic succession in SE Poland and West Ukraine has source rock potential, particularly the Ordovician and Silurian which contain oil-prone Type II kerogen. The thermal maturity of these units ranges from early to late-phase oil window (locally up to gas window). Within the Mesozoic succession, source rock potential is highest in the Middle Jurassic which has TOC of up to 26 wt% and a genetic potential of up to 39 mg/g of rock, with organic matter dominated by gas-prone Type III kerogen. In SE Poland, the organic matter in this unit is generally immature, whereas maturities in West Ukraine are sufficient for hydrocarbon generation to occur.
Modelling of hydrocarbon generation suggested that petroleum in Lower Palaeozoic source rocks began to be generated in the Early Carboniferous. Peak generation took place from the late Visean to the early Namurian, and terminated either as a result of source rock depletion or Variscian inversion. Expelled hydrocarbons migrated during post-Carboniferous and Mesozoic uplift. Middle Jurassic source rocks in SE Poland have only reached the early oil window. Higher thermal maturities in the Ukraine resulted in hydrocarbon generation and expulsion. This took place after Miocene burial and maturation.
A number of small hydrocarbon accumulations occur in Mesozoic reservoirs in SE Poland / West Ukraine, and hydrocarbons have migrated from Cambrian and Ordovician source rocks. However, the prospectivity of the study area is reduced as a result of phases of uplift and intense erosion which allowed hydrocarbons to escape from structural traps.