Abstract

We generalized experimental data on the structural group composition and macrostructural characteristics of high-molecular compounds (HMCs)—hydrocarbons, resins, and asphaltenes—from more than 180 crude oil samples extracted from different oil fields of Eurasia. Most of oil resin molecules contain 1–3 structural blocks, each consisting of 0–3 aromatic and 0–5 naphthenic rings in different combinations, with the total number of rings in each block not exceeding 5–6. The average molecular weights of resins are no more than 100–1500 a.m.u. Asphaltenes differ from resins from the same source in the larger number of structural blocks (mainly tri- or tetracyclic aromatic) in molecule (up to five), lower degrees of substitution of aromatic cores, and smaller portions of carbon atoms in saturated fragments. The average molecular weights of asphaltenes measured by naphthalene cryoscopy do not exceed 2500 a.m.u. Owing to intermolecular interactions, HMCs form various associates and polymolecular particles, including quasi-crystalline “batches” and multibatch aggregates. Spontaneous disintegration and formation of such particles make the oils dynamically equilibrium polydisperse systems. We have developed the main regularities of compositional and structural changes of HMCs depending on the depth of occurrence, age, and lithologic composition of oil-bearing deposits. Being chemically labile heteroatomic substances, petroleum HMCs are more rapidly subjected to compositional and structural transformations than hydrocarbons, i.e., are more responsive to changes in strata conditions.

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