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Carbon isotope composition can be used to derive natural gas generation temperature and source rock maturity by applying a rigorous parallel first-order reaction model based on quantum chemistry and microkinetics. In gas generation reactions, the breaking of 13C–12C and 12C–12C bonds has different frequency factors and activation energies. After the optimizing of these kinetic parameters with laboratory experiments, we can use the model to derive natural gas formation temperature and source rock maturity with given carbon isotope composition data. This method is useful for analyzing the thermal history of a basin along with petroleum generation and accumulation history of reservoirs, especially for strata that lack vitrinite for reflectance measurements.

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