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Geology of

Petroleum Systems
Petroleum Geology
Objectives are to be able to:
• Discuss basic elements of Petroleum Systems
• Describe plate tectonics and sedimentary basins
• Recognize names of major sedimentary rock types
• Describe importance of sedimentary environments
to petroleum industry
• Describe the origin of petroleum
• Identify hydrocarbon trap types
• Define and describe the important geologic
controls on reservoir properties, porosity and
permeability
Outline
• Petroleum Systems approach
• Geologic Principles and geologic time
• Rock and minerals, rock cycle, reservoir
properties
• Hydrocarbon origin, migration and
accumulation
• Sedimentary environments and facies;
stratigraphic traps
• Plate tectonics, basin development, structural
geology
• Structural traps

Petroleum System - A Definition
•A Petroleum System is a dynamic hydrocarbon
system that functions in a restricted geologic
space and time scale.
•A Petroleum System requires timely
convergence of geologic events essential to
the formation of petroleum deposits.
These Include:
Mature source rock
Hydrocarbon expulsion
Hydrocarbon migration
Hydrocarbon accumulation
Hydrocarbon retention
(modified from Demaison and Huizinga, 1994)
Cross Section Of A Petroleum System
Overburden Rock
Seal Rock
Reservoir Rock
Source Rock
Underburden Rock
Basement Rock
Top Oil Window
Top Gas Window
Geographic Extent of Petroleum System
Petroleum Reservoir (O)
Fold-and-Thrust Belt
(arrows indicate relative fault motion)
Essential
Elements
of
Petroleum
System
(Foreland Basin Example)
(modified from Magoon and Dow, 1994)
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Stratigraphic
Extent of
Petroleum
System
Pod of Active
Source Rock
Extent of Prospect/Field
Extent of Play
Basic Geologic Principles
• Uniformitarianism
• Original Horizontality
• Superposition
• Cross-Cutting Relationships
Cross-Cutting Relationships
Angular Unconformity
A
B
C
D
E
F
G
H
I
J
K
Igneous
Dike
• Disconformity
– An unconformity in which the beds above and below
are parallel
• Angular Unconformity
– An unconformity in which the older bed intersect the
younger beds at an angle
• Nonconformity
– An unconformity in which younger sedimentary
rocks overlie older metamorphic or intrusive
igneous rocks
Types of Unconformities
Correlation
• Establishes the age equivalence of rock
layers in different areas
• Methods:
– Similar lithology
– Similar stratigraphic section
– Index fossils
– Fossil assemblages
– Radioactive age dating
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100
150
200
250
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Phanerozoic
Quaternary
Tertiary
Cretaceous
Jurassic
Triassic
Permian
Pennsylvanian
Mississippian
Devonian
Silurian
Ordovician
Cambrian
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Paleocene
Eocene
Oligocene
Miocene
Pliocene
Pleistocene
Recent
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Eon Era Period Epoch
Geologic Time Chart
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Rocks
Classification of Rocks
SEDIMENTARY
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IGNEOUS
METAMORPHIC
Molten materials in
deep crust and
upper mantle
Crystallization
(Solidification of melt)
Weathering and
erosion of rocks
exposed at surface
Sedimentation, burial
and lithification
Rocks under high
temperatures
and pressures in
deep crust
Recrystallization due to
heat, pressure, or
chemically active fluids
The Rock Cycle
Magma
Metamorphic
Rock
Sedimentary
Rock
Igneous
Rock
Sediment
Heat and Pressure
Weathering,
Transportation
and Deposition
a

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Siltstone, mud
and shale
~75%
Sedimentary Rock Types
• Relative abundance
Sandstone
and conglomerate
~11%
Limestone and
dolomite
~13%
Quartz Crystals
Naturally Occurring
Solid
Generally Formed by
Inorganic Processes
Ordered Internal
Arrangement of Atoms
(Crystal Structure)
Chemical Composition
and Physical Properties
Fixed or Vary Within
A Definite Range
Minerals - Definition
Average Detrital Mineral
Composition of Shale and Sandstone
Mineral Composition Shale (%) Sandstone (%)
Clay Minerals
Quartz
Feldspar
Rock Fragments
Carbonate
Organic Matter,
Hematite, and
Other Minerals
60
30
4
<5
3
<3
5
65
10-15
15
<1
<1
(modified from Blatt, 1982)
The Physical and Chemical Characteristics
of Minerals Strongly Influence the
Composition of Sedimentary Rocks
Quartz
Feldspar
Calcite
Mechanically and Chemically Stable
Can Survive Transport and Burial
Nearly as Hard as Quartz, but
Cleavage Lessens Mechanical Stability
May be Chemically Unstable in Some
Climates and During Burial
Mechanically Unstable During Transport
Chemically Unstable in Humid Climates
Because of Low Hardness, Cleavage, and
Reactivity With Weak Acid
Some Common Minerals
Silicates
Oxides Sulfides
Carbonates
Sulfates Halides
Non-Ferromagnesian
(Common in Sedimentary Rocks)
Anhydrite
Gypsum
Halite
Sylvite
Aragonite
Calcite
Dolomite
Fe-Dolomite
Ankerite
Pyrite
Galena
Sphalerite
Ferromagnesian
(not common in sedimentary rocks)
Hematite
Magnetite
Quartz
Muscovite (mica)
Feldspars
Potassium feldspar (K-spar)
Orthoclase
Microcline, etc .
Plagioclase
Albite (Na-rich - common) through
Anorthite (Ca-rich - not common)

Olivine
Pyroxene
Augite
Amphibole
Hornblende
Biotite (mica)
Red =Sedimentary Rock-
Forming Minerals
The Four Major Components
• Framework
– Sand (and Silt) Size Detrital Grains
• Matrix
– Clay Size Detrital Material
• Cement
– Material precipitated post-depositionally,
during burial. Cements fill pores and replace
framework grains
• Pores
– Voids between above components
Norphlet Sandstone, Offshore Alabama, USA
Grains are About =< 0.25 mm in Diameter/Length
PRF
KF
P
KF = Potassium
Feldspar
PRF = Plutonic Rock
Fragment
P = Pore
Potassium Feldspar is
Stained Yellow With a
Chemical Dye
Pores are Impregnated
With Blue-Dyed Epoxy
CEMENT
Sandstone Composition
Framework Grains
Scanning Electron Micrograph
Norphlet Formation, Offshore Alabama, USA
Pores Provide the
Volume to Contain
Hydrocarbon Fluids

Pore Throats Restrict
Fluid Flow
Pore
Throat
Porosity in Sandstone
Secondary Electron Micrograph
Jurassic Norphlet Sandstone
Hatters Pond Field, Alabama, USA
(Photograph by R.L. Kugler)
Illite
Significant
Permeability
Reduction
Negligible
Porosity
Reduction
Migration of
Fines Problem
High Irreducible
Water Saturation
Clay Minerals in Sandstone Reservoirs
Fibrous Authigenic Illite
Secondary Electron Micrograph
Jurassic Norphlet Sandstone
Offshore Alabama, USA
(Photograph by R.L. Kugler)
Occurs as Thin
Coats on Detrital
Grain Surfaces
Occurs in Several
Deeply Buried
Sandstones With
High Reservoir
Quality
Iron-Rich
Varieties React
With Acid
~ 10
m
m
Clay Minerals in Sandstone Reservoirs
Authigenic Chlorite
Secondary Electron Micrograph
Carter Sandstone
North Blowhorn Creek Oil Unit
Black Warrior Basin, Alabama, USA
Significant Permeability
Reduction
High Irreducible Water
Saturation
Migration of Fines
Problem
(Photograph by R.L. Kugler)
Clay Minerals in Sandstone Reservoirs
Authigenic Kaolinite
100
10
1
0.1
0.01 0.01
0.1
1
10
100
1000
2 6 10 14
2 6 10 14 18
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Porosity (%)
Authigenic Illite Authigenic Chlorite
(modified from Kugler and McHugh, 1990)
Effects of Clays on Reservoir Quality
Dispersed Clay
Clay Lamination
Structural Clay
(Rock Fragments,
Rip-Up Clasts,
Clay-Replaced Grains)
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Clay
Minerals
Detrital Quartz
Grains
Influence of Clay-Mineral
Distribution on Effective Porosity
Diagenesis
Carbonate
Cemented
Oil
Stained
Diagenesis is the Post-
Depositional Chemical and
Mechanical Changes that
Occur in Sedimentary Rocks
Some Diagenetic Effects Include
Compaction
Precipitation of Cement
Dissolution of Framework
Grains and Cement
The Effects of Diagenesis May
Enhance or Degrade Reservoir
Quality
Whole Core
Misoa Formation, Venezuela
Fluids Affecting Diagenesis
Precipitation
Subsidence
CH
4
,CO
2
,H
2
S
Petroleum
Fluids
Meteoric
Water
Meteoric
Water
COMPACTIONAL
WATER
Evapotranspiration
Evaporation
Infiltration
Water Table
Zone of abnormal pressure
Isotherms
(modified from from Galloway and Hobday, 1983)
Thin Section Micrograph - Plane Polarized Light
Avile Sandstone, Neuquen Basin, Argentina
Dissolution of
Framework Grains
(Feldspar, for
Example) and
Cement may
Enhance the
Interconnected
Pore System

This is Called
Secondary Porosity
Pore
Quartz Detrital
Grain
Partially
Dissolved
Feldspar
(Photomicrograph by R.L. Kugler)
Dissolution Porosity
Hydrocarbon Generation,
Migration, and Accumulation
Organic Matter in Sedimentary Rocks
Reflected-Light Micrograph
of Coal
Vitrinite
Kerogen
Disseminated Organic Matter in
Sedimentary Rocks That is Insoluble
in Oxidizing Acids, Bases, and
Organic Solvents.
Vitrinite
A nonfluorescent type of organic material
in petroleum source rocks derived
primarily from woody material.
The reflectivity of vitrinite is one of the
best indicators of coal rank and thermal
maturity of petroleum source rock.
Interpretation of Total Organic Carbon (TOC)
(based on early oil window maturity)
Hydrocarbon
Generation
Potential
TOC in Shale
(wt. %)
TOC in Carbonates
(wt. %)
Poor
Fair
Good
Very Good
Excellent
0.0-0.5
0.5-1.0
1.0-2.0
2.0-5.0
>5.0
0.0-0.2
0.2-0.5
0.5-1.0
1.0-2.0
>2.0
Schematic Representation of the Mechanism
of Petroleum Generation and Destruction
(modified from Tissot and Welte, 1984)
Organic Debris
Kerogen
Carbon
Initial Bitumen
Oil and Gas
Methane
Oil Reservoir
Migration
Thermal Degradation
Cracking
Diagenesis
Catagenesis
Metagenesis
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Incipient Oil Generation
Max. Oil Generated
Oil Floor
Wet Gas Floor
Dry Gas Floor
Max. Dry Gas
Generated
(modified from Foster and Beaumont, 1991, after Dow and O’Conner, 1982)
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0.2
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0.4
0.5
4.0
3.0
2.0
1.3
1
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4
5
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10
430
450
465
65
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95
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0.9
1.0
1.2
OIL
Wet
Gas
Dry
Gas
Comparison of Several Commonly Used
Maturity Techniques and Their Correlation
to Oil and Gas Generation Limits
Reservoir
rock
Seal
Migration route
Oil/water
contact (OWC)
Hydrocarbon
accumulation
in the
reservoir rock
Top of maturity
Source rock
Fault
(impermeable)
Generation, Migration, and
Trapping of Hydrocarbons
Cross Section Of A Petroleum System
Overburden Rock
Seal Rock
Reservoir Rock
Source Rock
Underburden Rock
Basement Rock
Top Oil Window
Top Gas Window
Geographic Extent of Petroleum System
Petroleum Reservoir (O)
Fold-and-Thrust Belt
(arrows indicate relative fault motion)
Essential
Elements
of
Petroleum
System
(Foreland Basin Example)
(modified from Magoon and Dow, 1994)
O O
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Stratigraphic
Extent of
Petroleum
System
Pod of Active
Source Rock
Extent of Prospect/Field
Extent of Play
Hydrocarbon Traps
• Structural traps
• Stratigraphic traps
• Combination traps
Structural Hydrocarbon Traps
Salt
Diapir
Oil/Water
Contact
Gas
Oil/Gas
Contact
Oil
Closure Oil
Shale
Trap
Fracture Basement
(modified from Bjorlykke, 1989)
Fold Trap
Oil
Salt
Dome
Oil
Sandstone
Shale
Hydrocarbon Traps - Dome
Gas
Fault Trap
Oil / Gas
Oil/Gas
Oil/Gas
Oil/Gas
Stratigraphic Hydrocarbon Traps
Uncomformity
Channel Pinch Out
(modified from Bjorlykke, 1989)
Unconformity
Pinch out
Asphalt Trap
Water
Meteoric
Water
Biodegraded
Oil/Asphalt
Partly
Biodegraded Oil
Hydrodynamic Trap
Shale
Oil
Water
Hydrostatic
Head
(modified from Bjorlykke, 1989)
Other Traps
Heterogeneity
Reservoir Heterogeneity in Sandstone
Heterogeneity May
Result From:
Depositional Features

Diagenetic Features
(Whole Core Photograph, Misoa
Sandstone, Venezuela)
Heterogeneity
Segments Reservoirs

Increases Tortuosity of
Fluid Flow
Reservoir Heterogeneity in Sandstone
Heterogeneity Also May
Result From:
Faults

Fractures
Faults and Fractures may
be Open (Conduits) or
Closed (Barriers) to Fluid
Flow
(Whole Core Photograph, Misoa
Sandstone, Venezuela)
Bounding
Surface
Bounding
Surface
Eolian Sandstone, Entrada Formation, Utah, USA
Geologic Reservoir Heterogeneity
Scales of Geological Reservoir Heterogeneity
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(modified from Weber, 1986)
Hand Lens or
Binocular Microscope
Unaided Eye
Petrographic or
Scanning Electron
Microscope
Determined
From Well Logs,
Seismic Lines,
Statistical
Modeling,
etc.
10-100's
m
m
10-100's
mm
1-10's
m
100's
m
10's
m
1-10 km
100's m
Well Well
Interwell
Area
Reservoir
Sandstone
Scales of Investigation Used in
Reservoir Characterization
Gigascopic
Megascopic
Macroscopic
Microscopic
Well Test
Reservoir Model
Grid Cell
Wireline Log
Interval
Core Plug
Geological
Thin Section
Relative Volume
1
10
14
2 x 10
12
3 x 10
7
5 x 10
2
300 m
50 m
300 m
5 m
150 m
2 m
1 m
cm
mm -
m
m
(modified from Hurst, 1993)
Stages In The Generation of
An Integrated Geological Reservoir Model
Log Analysis
Well Test Analysis
Core Analysis
Regional Geologic
Framework
Depositional
Model
Diagenetic
Model
Integrated
Geologic Model
Applications Studies
Model Testing
And Revision
Structural
Model
Fluid
Model
(As Needed)
(As Needed)
Geologic Activities
Reserves Estimation
Simulation