• Class and Course

    Petroleum Systems and Exploration and Development Geochemistry | RILS

    This is a Remote Instructor Led Series (RILS) training. The remote classroom delivery is a modality that takes advantage of the instructor led training content, while allowing the same content to be delivered remotely.
    All training sessions will be delivered online with no face-to-face classroom attendance. This class will be delivered in 4 hours sessions over 10 days (including 15 minutes breaks). 

    The course is designed for exploration, production, and development geologists. Lectures show how geochemistry can reduce risk associated with petroleum exploration, how to predict oil quality from inexpensive wellbore measurements, how to identify reservoir compartments and de-convolute mixed petroleum, and how to assess completion problems. It provides guidelines for sample collection and project initiation, how to evaluate prospective source rocks, and how to define petroleum systems through oil-oil and oil-source rock correlation. Case studies and exercises show how geochemistry can be used to solve exploration, production, and development problems while minimizing cost. 

    The lectures are designed to improve understanding of processes that control petroleum quality in reservoir rocks and the bulk, molecular, and isotopic tools that facilitate that understanding. Discussions cover TOC, Rock-Eval pyrolysis, vitrinite reflectance, thermal alteration index, kerogen elemental analysis, geochemical logs and maps, reconstructed generative potential, petroleum generation kinetics, gas chromatography and gas chromatography-mass spectrometry of oil, compound-specific isotope analyses (CSIA) of light hydrocarbons, biomarkers, and diamondoids, and chemometrics to classify oil families, identify compartments, and de-convolute mixtures. 

    In-class exercises illustrate pitfalls to correct interpretations.

    RILS course content

    Course Outline (all modules discuss interpretive pitfalls and include exercises)

    Module I. The Dynamic Petroleum System Concept

    • Objectives and Nomenclature, Pre-Course Exam
    • Petroleum System Folio Sheet: Map and Cross Section at the Critical Moment, Table of Accumulations, Event Chart, Burial History Chart
    • Introduction to Basin and Petroleum System Models
    • Timing of Petroleum System Events and Processes

    Module II. Origin of Organic Matter, Sample Collection 

    • Origin and Preservation of Sedimentary Organic Matter
    • Anoxic Source Rock Depositional Settings
    • Project Initiation and Sample Collection

    Module III. Evaluating the Rocks 

    • Vitrinite Reflectance, Thermal Maturation
    • Chemical Reaction Kinetics
    • TOC, Rock-Eval Pyrolysis, Geochemical Logs
    • Fractional Conversion, Original TOC, Expelled Petroleum, Expulsion Efficiency

    Module IV. Exploration Geochemistry 

    • Gas Chromatography, Stable Isotopes
    • Surface Geochemical Exploration, Semivariograms and Spatial Significance of Data
    • Biomarker Separation and Analysis, GCMS, GC-MSMS
    • Source- and Age-Related Parameters, Introduction to Oil-Oil and Oil-Source Rock Correlation

    Module V. Preservation and Destruction of Accumulations 

    • Thermal Maturity Parameters
    • Biodegradation Parameters
    • Ancillary Geochemical Tools; Semi-Volatile Aromatics, Light Hydrocarbons, Mud Gas Isotope Logging, Fluid Inclusion Volatiles, Diamondoids
    • Chemometrics for Correlation, Property Prediction, Mixture Analysis

    Module VI. Expulsion, Migration, and Reservoir Processes 

    • Expulsion/Sorption-Fractionation vs. Primary Migration
    • Secondary Migration andCompartments; Migration Mechanisms: Diffusion, Solution, Gas-Phase, Oil-Phase
    • Gravity Segregation, Biodegradation/Water Washing
    • Deasphalting, Wax Crystallization, Retrograde Condensation, Evaporative Fractionation
    • Microbial and Thermochemical Sulfate Reduction
    • Module VII. Gas and Oil Fingerprinting, Production Allocation 
    • Oil Fingerprinting: Reservoir Compartments
    • Leaky Casing, Production Allocation
    • Hydrocarbon and Non-Hydrocarbon Gases
    • Gas Shale and Other Unconventional Resources

    Module VIII. Worldwide Case Studies and Conclusions 

    • Exploration Geochemistry Case Studies
    • Reservoir Geochemistry Case Studies
    • Conclusions and Post-Course Exam

    The course is designed for exploration, production, and development geologists.


    · Identify the elements and processes that control petroleum systems and shale resources and how they are quantified in basin and petroleum system models.

    · Understand the basic concepts of petroleum geochemistry and geochemical measurements, e.g., Rock-Eval pyrolysis/TOC, vitrinite reflectance, GC, GC-MS, GC-MSMS, CSIA, pitfalls.

    · Learn how to collect crude oil and rock samples and how evaluate data quality.

    · Reconstruct the original petroleum generative potential of spent source rock; learn proper procedures to define petroleum generation kinetics.

    · Use biomarkers, isotopes, and chemometrics to correlate oils and source rocks, establish petroleum systems, and assess thermal maturity or biodegradation.

    · Learn how light hydrocarbons, biomarkers, diamondoids, and isotopes are used to correlate oils and assess thermal cracking, thermochemical sulfate reduction, evaporative fractionation, biodegradation, and other reservoir processes.

    · Learn how to evaluate gas and oil geochemistry; identify gas, oil, and water contacts, leakage behind casing; predict oil quality from sidewall cores.

    · Learn how to quantify commingled production and contamination of gas or oil samples.

    · Learn various chemometric methods to interpret large volumes of exploration or reservoir geochemistry data to assign genetic families, define compartments, and deconvolute mixtures.

    · Learn how geochemistry and geomechanics affect unconventional shale gas and shale oil resources.

    · Gain geochemical expertise based on case studies and exercises to allow better communication with colleagues and clients and more efficient exploration/production.

    Knowlege of Basic Petroleum Geology and Petroleum Systems

    Currently there are no scheduled classes for this course.

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