H. Dembicki, Jr., 1985. "An Attempt at Correlating Alaskan North Slope Oils and Source Rocks", Alaska North Slope Oil-Rock Correlation Study: Analysis of North Slope Crude, Leslie B. Magoon, George E. Claypool
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As a tool in petroleum exploration, oil-to-oil correlation offers a means of detecting the migration of oil within or between formations. Oil-to-source rock correlations identify specific source beds that generated the petroleum. In order to accomplish these tasks, a variety of techniques have been used, including gas chromatographic analysis of various hydrocarbon boiling point ranges, mass spectral group type analysis, carbon isotope ratios, and gas chromatographic-mass spectral analysis of biological marker hydrocarbons.
This report deals with a comparison of the results of these techniques in an attempt to correlate 9 oils and 15 source rock samples from five different formations from the National Petroleum Reserve in Alaska. Oils were compared to each other using the above-mentioned chemical parameters in an attempt to subdivide them into groups. Source rock samples were first evaluated to determine if they were capable of generating oil, prior to their comparison to the crude oils. Although individual data types allowed some differentiation of the oils, the data yielded no consistent grouping of oils or pairing of oils with source rocks. Additional work will be necessary in order to determine the source of the North Slope oils.
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Alaska North Slope Oil-Rock Correlation Study: Analysis of North Slope Crude
The Alaska North Slope oil-rock correlation study was organized because several oil companies requested oil and rock samples for geochemical analyses that were recovered during the exploration drilling in the National Petroleum Reserve in Alaska (NPRA). Samples acquired with public funds could not be given to private organizations unless some guarantees could be provided that the information acquired from these samples could be made available to the public. For this reason, in August 1981, we sent out over 40 invitations to research laboratories in industry, government, and academia.
Requirements to participate in this study included: (1) participation in an AAPG-sponsored research conference, (2) presentation of the data interpretations at the 1983 Annual AAPG Meeting in Dallas Texas, and (3) contribution of a manuscript, to include all acquired data and interpretations, that would be included in a symposium volume. If a research group wished to participate, they were to write a letter of intent that included their proposed analytical program and a statement indicating that the requirements would be adhered to by their group. Even with these stringent requirements, 30 research groups wished to participate. A balanced cross section of research groups are participating and are as follows: 15 from oil companies, 7 from commercial laboratories, 7 from government laboratories, and 1 university laboratory. These groups are listed in Table 1.
In January 1982, each research group was sent 8 oils and 15 rocks recovered from NPRA drilling and 1 oil from the Prudhoe Bay field. Each group then proceeded to analyze these samples as they indicated in their letter of intent.