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abstract

The quality, quantity, type, and level of hydrocarbon maturation of various organic-rich rock samples were evaluated by two different techniques: elemental analysis and programmed pyrolysis. Eighty samples varying in both total organic carbon (0.5-75 wt% OC) and kerogen type were analyzed. Effects of the mineral matrix on measured geochemical parameters were examined by analysis of synthetic mixtures of separated kerogen (Types I, II, and III) and mineral matter (bentonite and illite at various percentages).

Statistical analyses were performed on bulk rock samples, separated kerogen, and bitumen-extracted kerogen. Analyses include population descriptions, correlations, and stepwise multiple regression. Data parameters include: bulk rock Hydrogen Index (HI), sep-arated kerogen HI, bitumen-extracted kerogen HI, atomic H/C and O/C (bitumen-extracted kerogen), and % OC in bulk, separated, and bitumen-extracted samples.

Results from a wide variety of hydrocarbon source rocks indicate that programmed pyrolysis can be used to predict atomic H/C. Although the variance of both methods is similar, the HI values derived from bulk rock samples consistently underestimate those derived from bitumen-extracted samples. Both measures are highly correlated (r = 0.87, P = 0.001). Guidelines for the practical application of bulk rock pyrolysis data to source rock evaluation studies are presented.

In summary, standard pyrolysis techniques yield information which can be used for rapid, accurate appraisal of the quality, maturity, and type of organic material contained within a wide variety of organic-rich rocks.

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