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Introduction to Oil & Gas The Petroleum System The accumulation of economic volumes of petroleum (Oil and Gas) in the subsurface requires that several essential geological elements and process be present in specic time and space. Source rocks generate and expel petroleum when sufcient thermal energy is imparted to the sedimentary organic matter (kerogen) to break chemical bonds. This heating is included usually by burial by overburden rocks. Once expelled, Petroleum migrates either along faults and / or highly permeable strata (reservoir rocks). Accumulations form only when high porosity strata are charged with migrating petroleum and the petroleum is prevented from further migration. These petroleum traps are formed only when geologic movements result in subsurface topographic topographies that blocks migration and when the reservoir rocks are covered by low permeability strata (seal rocks). The mere presence of these geologic elements is insufcient to form petroleum reservoirs. Traps must be available at the time of oil expulsion and, once charged, their integrity must be preserved until exploited. These elements and process constitute the Petroleum System.

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12/31/13, 8:54 AM