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Book Chapter

Retardation of Hydrocarbon Generation and Maturation by Water Pressure in Geologic Basins: An Experimental Investigation

By
Clement N. Ugana
Clement N. Ugana
Department of Chemical and Environmental Engineering, Faculty of Engineering, University of Nottingham, Nottingham, United Kingdom
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Colin E. Snape
Colin E. Snape
Department of Chemical and Environmental Engineering, Faculty of Engineering, University of Nottingham, Nottingham, United Kingdom
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Will Meredith
Will Meredith
Department of Chemical and Environmental Engineering, Faculty of Engineering, University of Nottingham, Nottingham, United Kingdom
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Andrew D. Carr
Andrew D. Carr
Advanced Geochemical Systems Ltd., Leicestershire, United Kingdom Present address: British Geological Survey, Keyworth, Nottingham, United Kingdom.
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Iain C. Scotchman
Iain C. Scotchman
Statoil (UK) Ltd., London, United Kingdom
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Robert C. Davis
Robert C. Davis
Woodside Energy (USA) Inc., Houston, Texas, U.S.A.
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Published:
January 01, 2012

Abstract

Temperature-time–based first-order kinetic models are currently used to predict hydrocarbon generation and maturation in basin modeling. Physical chemical theory, however, indicates that water pressure should exert significant control on the extent of these hydrocarbon generation and maturation reactions. We previously heated type II Kimmeridge Clay source rock in the range of 310 to 350°C at a water pressure of 500 bar to show that pressure retarded hydrocarbon generation. This study extended a previous study on hydrocarbon generation from the Kimmeridge Clay that investigated the effects of temperature in the range of 350 to 420°C at water pressures as much as 500 bar and for periods of 6, 12, and 24 hr. Although hydrocarbon generation reactions at temperatures of 420°C are controlled mostly by the high temperature, pressure is found to have a significant effect on the phase and the amounts of hydrocarbons generated.

In addition to hydrocarbon yields, this study also includes the effect of temperature, time, and pressure on maturation. Water pressure of 390 bar or higher retards the vitrinite reflectance by an average of ca. 0.3% Ro compared with the values obtained under low pressure hydrous conditions across the temperature range investigated. Temperature, pressure, and time all control the vitrinite reflectance. Therefore, models to predict hydrocarbon generation and maturation in geological basins must include pressure in the kinetic models used to predict the extent of these reactions.

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Contents

AAPG Hedberg Series

Basin Modeling: New Horizons in Research and Applications

Kenneth E. Peters
Kenneth E. Peters
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David J. Curry
David J. Curry
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Marek Kacewicz
Marek Kacewicz
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American Association of Petroleum Geologists
Volume
4
ISBN electronic:
9781629810003
Publication date:
January 01, 2012

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