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Book Chapter

Molecular Indicators of Geothermal History

By
Clifford C. Walters
Clifford C. Walters
ExxonMobil Corporate Strategic Research, 1545 US Highway 22E, Annandale, New Jersey 08801-0998 USA clifford.c.walters@exxonmobil.com
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Paul G. Lillis
Paul G. Lillis
US Geological Survey Denver Federal Center, Box 25046, MS 977, Denver, Colorado 80225-0046 USA
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Kenneth E. Peters
Kenneth E. Peters
Schlumberger Information Solutions, 18 Manzanita Place, Mill Valley, California 94941-1018 USA
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Published:
January 01, 2012

Abstract

Many basin simulators include the option to use calculated biomarker ratios from published first-order kinetic parameters as a means to calibrate thermal history. Published kinetic parameters for many biomarker reactions are based on simplistic and unfounded assumptions of reaction pathways, lack the needed precision, or have insufficient documentation to evaluate their effectiveness. We believe that calibrations of thermal history based on biomarker ratios are less reliable than those based on more common methods, such as vitrinite reflectance and corrected bottom-hole temperatures, because of uncertainty in the reaction mechanisms and kinetic parameters. Some research indicates that certain reactions, such as cyclization of ortho-substituted biphenyls and thermal decomposition of alkyl esters, could provide useful kinetics with which to calibrate basin models, but these efforts have not been pursued by the geochemical community.

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Contents

SEPM Special Publication

Analyzing the Thermal History of Sedimentary Basins: Methods and Case Studies

Nicholas B. Harris
Nicholas B. Harris
University of Alberta
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Kenneth E. Peters
Kenneth E. Peters
Schlumberger and Stanford University
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SEPM Society for Sedimentary Geology
Volume
103
ISBN electronic:
9781565763173
Publication date:
January 01, 2012

GeoRef

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