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crude oil natural gas

biogenic
gas

150F
65C
oil
window
300F
150C
wet gas

dry gas

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Total organic carbon (TOC)

TOC= the concentration of organic material in


source rocks as represented by the weight
percent of organic carbon.
This is a geochemical parameter that measures
the petroleum potential of a source rock based
on the amount of organic material present.

TOC measures both kerogen and bitumen


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Total organic carbon content, Kerogen quality
weight %
<0.5 very poor
0.5-1 poor
1-2 fair
2-4 good
>4 very good

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TOC> 0.5 weight % minimum value for source
rock

Usually 1.0 weight % is used as minimum for


commercial hydrocarbon accumulations

Global source rock average ~1.8%

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Source rocks

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How do we know if temperatures have been
high enough in the source rock to form
petroleum?

We use paleothermometers

Why not bottom hole temperatures?

Paleothermometers measure the maximum


temperature to which the source rock was
subjected
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Paleothermometers
1) Chemical paleothermometers
2) Biological paleothermometers

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Chemical paleothermometers

Pyrolysis

How does it work?

Sample of source rock is heated


Hydrocarbon gases are expelled

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Chemical paleothermometers

Pyrolysis

At low temperatures: the free hydrocarbons


that are in the sample are volatilized (S1)
With increasing temperature: hydrocarbons
are expelled from sample (S2)

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Chemical paleothermometers

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Transformation ratio

Transformation ratio: the extent of oil


generation
The transformation ratio is the decimal
fraction of reaction completed
0.00 = no reaction
1.00 = completed reaction

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Transformation ratio

Immature source rocks have transformation


ratios less than 0.01, and source rocks that
completed oil generation have transformation
ratios greater than 0.99
Peak oil generation occurs at a
transformation ratio of 0.50 when the
maximum rate of reaction is reached

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Transformation ratio
Is also used to describe cracking to gas

Then:
oil cracking to gas is defined by transformation
ratios between 0.01 and 0.99
uncracked oils have transformation ratios less
than 0.01
crude oils that have completed cracking to gas
have transformation ratios greater than 0.99

Peak oil cracking to gas occurs at a transformation


ratio of 0.50 13
Chemical paleothermometers

Total organic carbon


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HI decreases for a source
rock that begins to
generate hydrocarbons at
a depth of approximately
2200 m

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Paleothermometers
1) Chemical paleothermometers
2) Biological paleothermometers

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Biological paleothermometers
Vitrinite reflectance R0

Method was developed by coal


petrographers to assess the rank of coal
samples.
Shininess of coal increases from peat to
anthracite

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Biological paleothermometers
The shininess can be measured optically

It results from vitrinites in coal (coal maceral)

Vitrain is also found in kerogen and sedimentary


rocks

Kerogen is removed from rock sample and


reflectance R0 is measured
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Biological paleothermometers
0.6 <R0< 1.5 oil
1.5 <R0< 3.0 gas
R0> 3.0 graphite crude oil natural gas R0
biogenic
gas - 0.5

150F
65C
oil
window
300F
150C
wet gas

dry gas - 2.5


Biological paleothermometers
Abrupt depth-variations in R0 may indicate

Igneous intrusion
Fault or unconformity

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Wells

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Log type

Company name

API number

Location

Log elevation
information

Borehole
information

Casing information
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KB=Kelly Bushing
DF=Drilling Floor
GL=Ground Level

Log elevation
information
API number

API#
37-121-37345-00-00

state

county

well number

sidetrack

event
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Expulsion and migration
Primary migration: migration from the
source rock to permeable carrier bed
Secondary migration: movement through
carrier bed into reservoir

Oil and gas migration are the least understood


processes in the formation of hydrocarbon
reservoirs. Much of the current thinking of how
it happens is hypothetical and difficult to prove
with either experiment or theory
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What is evidence for migration?
In the Hassi Messaoud
Field, Algeria, the
Silurian source rock
drilled by the well on the
left is laterally and
stratigraphically
separated from the
Cambrian reservoir rock
where oil is found in the
well in the middle.
Migration is an obvious
mechanism to explain
this situation.

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Oil seepages

Marine oil seeps 30


Oil seepage

La Brea tar pits, Los Angeles

These are puddles of asphalt that seeped to the surface from young
(Miocene) source rocks through faults. In the Pleistocene and
Holocene many animals perished in them and became fossilized.
Visit the George C. Page Museum in Los Angeles 31
Primary migration
When potential source and reservoir rocks
are buried, they contain water in their pore
space.
The oil or gas, therefore, has to replace this
water in the migration process when it
reaches the reservoir rock

formation water

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Primary migration
Formation water:
the water that was present in the sediments
during or shortly after deposition

This is fossil water


(Meteoric water is fresh water that originates
from the surface)

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Primary migration
What happens with formation water during
burial?
Most formation waters are saline (with mainly
sodium and chlorine)
The salinity increases with depth
During compaction formation water is expelled

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water salinity vs. depth

Source: North, F.K. (1985) Petroleum Geology, Allen & Unwin

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Porosity-depth relationships for mudrocks 36
Sedimentary rocks compact during burial

The pore space decreases and with it the


volume available for the fluids (formation
water but also hydrocarbons)

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Most water lost,
but this is above
the oil window

At larger depth
(T): smectite clay
lattice collapses
to illite, and
during this
process pore
space is further
reduced 38
During this phase hydrocarbons could be
expelled

Pore fluids have to support an increasing load


of the overburden stress unless they escape.
In shales, with low permeability, the fluids
take a much longer time to escape (and thus
to equilibrate hydrodynamic pressures) than
in porous and permeable rocks. This can lead
to overpressure in the shales, a so-called
compaction disequilibrium.

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Primary migration

Mature hydrocarbons first have to migrate out


of the source rock
But, the source rock is in general a fine-grained
rock that has a low permeability
During burial, the source rock compacts, its pore
fluids become overpressured with respect to
surrounding rocks that have higher permeabilities

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During burial, the source rock compacts, its pore
fluids become overpressured with respect to
surrounding rocks that have higher
permeabilities

Therefore, a fluid pressure gradient develops


between the source rock and the surrounding,
more permeable rocks. This causes the fluids to
migrate along the pressure Pressure

gradient, usually upwards, Primary


Migration
Depth shale
although a downward sand

migration is possible
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When porosity
decreases, pore size
decreases
The diameter of many
hydrocarbon molecules
may be too large to
migrate through the
shale pores, particularly
since structured water
on the clay surfaces
(water-wet) further
restricts the pathways
So, how does primary migration work? 42
With decreasing total porosity, micropore volumes
relatively increase whereas the sum of mesopores and
macropore volumes decrease 43
1. Oil is generated at temperatures of ~60 to
120 C, which are typically found at depths of
2 to 4 km
2. Source rocks at these depths are so
compacted that their permeability is too low
for efficient primary migration

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1. Migration by diffusion. Because of
differing concentrations of the fluids in the
source rock and the surrounding rock there
is a tendency to diffuse. A widely accepted
theory

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2. Migration by molecular solution in water.
While aromatics are most soluble in
aqueous solutions, they are rare in oil
accumulations, therefore discrediting the
general importance of this mechanism,
although it may be locally important

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3. Migration along microfractures in the
source rock. During compaction the fluid
pressures in the source rock may become
so large that spontaneous hydrofracing
occurs. A useful, maybe underestimated
hypothesis

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4. Oil-phase migration. Oil migration in the
source rock provides a continuous oil-wet
migration path along which the hydrocarbons
diffuse along pressure and concentration
gradient. This is a reasonable but unproven
hypothesis, good for high TOCs

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Primary migration- thoughts
Very young oil is found, suggesting that early
expulsion is possible, perhaps in the form of
immature hydrocarbons

Many oil fields have very large time gaps between


the age of the source and reservoir rocks. And most
traps are relatively young. This suggests that
migration and accumulation may proceed in two or
more different stages:
An early migration in which permeabilities are
relatively high, but where the hydrocarbon
generation is inefficient, and a later stage at which
permeabilities are low 49
Primary migration- thoughts

It may well be that undercompaction is crucial


for primary migration. It may help preserve the
source rocks permeability to a greater depth
than in equilibrium condition, all the while
reaching temperatures sufficient for significant
hydrocarbon generation

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Secondary migration

From carrier bed into reservoir

Driven by buoyance forces

Conduits: permeable sandstones, faults, etc

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Differential entrapment

Gas trapped in the lower anticline, salt water


trapped in the highest anticline:

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