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Oil & Gas Training
and Competency Development
Competency Management system SLB NEXT

Petroleum Systems and Exploration and Development Geochemistry

This five-day course focuses on the dynamic petroleum system concept, exploration geochemistry of conventional and unconventional petroleum, and reservoir geochemistry. The course is designed for exploration, production, and development geologists. Lectures show how geochemistry can reduce the risk associated with petroleum exploration, how to predict oil quality from inexpensive wellbore measurements, how to identify reservoir compartments and de-convolute commingled petroleum, and how to assess completion problems. It provides interpretive 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 illustrate how geochemistry can be used to solve exploration, production, and development problems while minimizing cost. The lectures and discussions are designed to improve basic understanding of the 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 calculations, water analysis, gas chromatography and gas chromatography-mass spectrometry of oil and gas, compound-specific isotope analyses (CSIA) of light hydrocarbons, biomarkers, and diamondoids, and chemometrics to classify oil families, identify compartments, and de-convolute mixed oils. Pitfalls to correct interpretations are illustrated using in-class exercises.

Day 1

Module 1. The Dynamic Petroleum System Concept

  • Objectives, Terms, Nomenclature
  • Petroleum System Folio Sheet: Map and Cross Section at Critical Moment, Table of Accumulations, Event Chart, Burial History Chart
  • Timing of Petroleum System Events and Processes
  • Introduction to Basin and Petroleum System Models
  • Origin and Preservation of Sedimentary Organic Matter
  • Project Initiation and Sample Collection, Exercises

Module 2. Evaluating Source Rocks

  • Vitrinite Reflectance: Thermal Maturity, Calibration, Kinetics
  • TOC, Rock-Eval Pyrolysis, Geochemical Logs
  • Fractional Conversion, Original TOC, Expelled Petroleum, Expulsion Efficiency
  • Interpretive Pitfalls; Exercises
Day 2

Module 3. Exploration Geochemistry

  • Gas Chromatography, Stable Isotopes, Surface Geochemical Exploration
  • Semivariograms and Spatial Significance of Data
  • Biomarker Separation and Analysis
  • Source- and Age-Related Parameters, Introduction to Oil-Oil and Oil-Source Rock Correlation
  • Interpretive Pitfalls; Exercises
Day 3

Module 4. Preservation and Destruction of Accumulations

  • Thermal Maturity Parameters; Cracking, Thermochemical Sulfate Reduction
  • Biodegradation Parameters
  • Ancillary Geochemical Tools; Semi-Volatile Aromatics, Light Hydrocarbons, Mud Gas Isotope Logging, Fluid Inclusion Volatiles, Diamondoids
  • Chemometrics for Correlation, Mixture Analysis
  • Interpretive Pitfalls; Exercises
  • Exploration Geochemistry Case Studies
Day 4

Module 5. Reservoir Geochemistry

  • Objectives, Terms, Nomenclature
  • Migration and Compartments
  • Migration Mechanisms: Diffusion, Solution, Gas-Phase, Oil-Phase
  • Sample Collection/Water Chemistry
  • Gravity Segregation, Biodegradation/Water Washing
  • Phase Changes: Deasphalting, Wax Crystallization, Retrograde Condensation, Evaporative Fractionation
  • Thermal Maturation, TSR, Reactive Polar Precipitation
  • Interpretive Pitfalls; Exercises
Day 5

Module 6. Gas and Oil Fingerprinting, Production Allocation

  • Gas Chromatography, Stable Isotopes
  • Oil Fingerprinting: Reservoir Compartments
  • Leaky Casing, Production Allocation
  • Interpretive Pitfalls; Exercises
  • Hydrocrbon and Non-Hydrocarbon Gases
  • Gas Shale and Other Unconventionals
  • Reservoir Geochemistry Case Studies
Learning activity mix

Geoscientists needing knowledge of Petroleum Systems,Petroleum Geochemistry and Basin Modeling

Understand the basic concepts of petroleum geochemistry

Understand basic geochemical measurements, e.g., Rock-Eval pyrolysis/TOC, vitrinite reflectance, GC, GC-MS, GC-MS-MS, and CSIA, including interpretive pitfalls

Reconstruct the original petroleum generative potential of spent source rock

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

Learn how to collect water, oil, and rock samples and how evaluate data quality

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

Understand the fundamentals of water analysis

Learn how down-hole formation testing can provide in situ measures of fluid properties

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

Learn how to assess reservoir compartmentalization; identify gas, oil, and water contacts, leakage behind casing; predict oil quality from sidewall cores

Learn how to assess commingled production and contamination of oil samples

Learn how to rapidly and inexpensively predict oil properties from core extracts

Learn various chemometric methods to interpret large volumes of reservoir geochemistry data

Gain geochemical expertise based on case studies and exercises to allow better communication with colleagues and clients

Knowlege of Basic Petroleum Geology and Petroleum Systems

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