Physical and geochemical characteristics of produced petroleum from the central region of the Llanos basin, Colombia, were analyzed to understand the petroleum charge history and alteration processes. Petroleum properties in the study area are the result of the complex charge history of the oil fields. The amount of gas in fluids is controlled by the migration distance from the late or, possibly, the current generation kitchen located beneath the foothill deformation zone. Gas influx decreases toward the foreland domain, as indicated by lower values of the gas–oil ratio and saturation pressure. The API gravity of the oil samples is mainly controlled by the intensity of biodegradation. Marine-sourced oils accumulated in shallow reservoirs of the foreland prior to the onset of Andean deformation. Those fluids were subjected to different levels of biodegradation, depending on the time they remained at reservoir temperatures lower than 80°C (176°F) and before being buried to their maximum depth.
Geochemical data suggest multiple charge pulses from different source kitchens of two main types of source rocks, as well as different biodegradation levels. The proposed petroleum charge and alteration model allows prediction of the temperature history of a reservoir and the most likely physical properties of the petroleum at a specific location. The model can be used as an exploration tool to assess the risk of charge prior to drilling in unexplored areas of the basin.