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Book Chapter

Introduction

By
Frank L. Staplin
Frank L. Staplin
Esso Resources Canada Limited
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Published:
January 01, 1987

Abstract

The application of organic matter studies in petroleum exploration had its start with the recognition of “rank” in coal. During the period 1900 – 1925, both physical and chemical methods were developed for determination of the degree of low grade metamorphism of particulate organic materials, or palynodebris in coals and other sediments.

Measurements of the relative metamorphism (maturation level) which are based on physical properties are generally quick, cheap, and qualitative to semiquantitative. Those based on chemical analyses are less rapid (unless fairly expensive automated equipment is used), and tend to be more quantitative.

The following are the most common methods of estimating the relative maturation of a sedimentary section:

  1. 1. Coal rank

 
  • a. C, H %

  • b. % volatiles

  • c. reflectance of vitrinite or other coal constituents; fluorescence

  • d. Other analytical procedures

 
  1. 1. Coal rank

 
  • a. C, H %

  • b. % volatiles

  • c. reflectance of vitrinite or other coal constituents; fluorescence

  • d. Other analytical procedures

 
  1. 2. Distribution of oil shows, stains and seeps; distribution of dry gas (biogenic and thermogenic).

  1. 3. Organic particulate debris in sediments

 
  • a. Types

  • b. Color, translucency

  • c. Reflectance, fluorescence

  • d. Infrared analysis

 
  1. 4. Geochemical methods (bulk sediment, extracted particulates, hydrocarbons)

 
  • a. Wet and dry gas

  • b. liquid hydrocarbons

  • c. types and abundance of hydrocarbons

  • d. total organic content elemental analysis, isotopes

  • f. Molecular analysis

 
  1. 3. Organic particulate debris in sediments

 
  • a. Types

  • b. Color, translucency

  • c. Reflectance, fluorescence

  • d. Infrared analysis

 
  1. 4. Geochemical methods (bulk sediment, extracted particulates, hydrocarbons)

 
  • a. Wet and dry gas

  • b. liquid hydrocarbons

  • c. types and abundance of hydrocarbons

  • d. total organic content elemental analysis, isotopes

  • f. Molecular analysis

 
  1. 5. Pyrolysis (artificial maturation), hydrogenolysis (yields and components, ease of conversion)

  1. 6. Predictive methods (when samples few or unavailable)

 
  • a. Geothermal gradient

  • b. burial history

  • c. lithology and facies (interpretation from seismic patterns, etc.)

 
  1. 6. Predictive methods (when samples few or unavailable)

 
  • a. Geothermal gradient

  • b. burial history

  • c. lithology and facies (interpretation from seismic patterns, etc.)

 

Each method has advantages and disadvantages and they often are combined.

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Contents

SEPM Short Course Notes

How to Assess Maturation and Paleotemperatures

F. L. Staplin
F. L. Staplin
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W. G. Dow
W. G. Dow
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C. W. D. Milner
C. W. D. Milner
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D.I. O’Connor
D.I. O’Connor
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S.A.J. Pocock
S.A.J. Pocock
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P. van Gijzel
P. van Gijzel
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D.H. Welte
D.H. Welte
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M.A. Yükler
M.A. Yükler
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SEPM Society for Sedimentary Geology
Volume
7
ISBN electronic:
9781565762367
Publication date:
January 01, 1987

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