Petroleum geochemistry

Peter Nederlof 
Wiekert Visser 
5 days

Business context

The prediction of fluid type (oil or gas) and volumes generated in the basin, or present in un-drilled traps, relies a.o. on the understanding of petroleum systems. Geochemistry can provide key data to build a reliable petroleum systems model, and thus helps to rank prospects and to minimise exploration risk. This course teaches the fundamentals of the geochemical tools, and demonstrates the potential of geochemistry in hydrocarbon exploration.

In a producing oil-field, geochemical methods can help to understand and predict for example production allocation in co-mingled production wells, compartmentalization of the field by faults, down-hole corrosion of production strings, etc. Therefore, geochemistry helps to optimize reservoir models and field development strategies.

This course emphisizes the necessity of integration between geochemistry and geology.

Who should attend

Petroleum geoloscientists involved with exploration & production of hydrocarbons.

Course content

  • Basins and Petroleum Systems
  • Source rock formation & evaluation
  • Analytical techniques in petroleum geochemistry
  • "Oil families": recognizing different petroleum systems within a single basin
  • Gas geochemistry
  • Generation, expulsion & migration of hydrocarbons
  • Filling history of fields
  • Production allocation
  • Recognising down-hole corrosion
  • Recognising compartmentalisation
  • Hydrocarbon pay analysis

Learning, methods and tools

At the end of the course participants will have gained insight into the main geochemical concepts, tools, and application domains. They will understand how geochemistry can contribute to solving exploration and production problems. Exercises are used to reinforcing the acquired knowledge in a practical context. The participants will be able to apply basic geochemical tools, and will be in a position to define and manage geochemical projects.

Day by day programme

  Day-1, Focus on source rocks

  • Introduction: Objectives of geochemistry, it's role in E&P ventures
  • Source rocks: depositional environment
  • Quality assessment of source rocks
  • Generation of hydrocarbons
  • Migration: from kitchen to trap
  • Exercises

Day-2: Focus on oil finger printing

  • Objective of oil analyses
  • Basic chemistry of hydrocarbons
  • Overview of analytical methods
  • The basic parameters for oil typing
  • The gasoline fraction: the "star diagram method"
  • Exercisess

Day-3: Focus on exploration applications

  • Basins & petroleum systems
  • Biomarkers
  • Oil family mapping
  • Gas geochemistry
  • Biodegradation of oil
  • Prospect risking using geochemical data
  • Exercises

Day 4: Focus on reservoir compartmentalisation

  • Reservoir architecture & filling history
  • High Resolution GC for reservoir geochemistry
  • Maturity effects & reservoir compartments
  • Case histories: Monitoring, compartmentalisation, near-field exploration.
  • Exercises

Day 5: Focus on wells, pipeline, infrastucture

  • Waterwashing, Evaporative fractionation, TSR, BSR
  • Pay-zone detection & completion intervals
  • Precipitation of solids during production (Wax, pyro-bitumen, asphaltenes)
  • Application of water geochemistry
  • Design workprogram: Saving money by using geochemistry
  • Exercises