September 14, 2015

Call open: ONSET - a Multiclient Study of Polar Compounds in Petroleum Systems

GEOS4 has opened the call for its pioneer service project "ONSET - a Multiclient Study of Polar Compounds in Petroleum Systems". Flow assurance, production allocation and reservoir heterogeneity are key issues to be addressed by rapid ultra-high resolution analysis and evaluation of POLAR COMPOUNDS utilising Fourier Transform Ion Cyclotron Resonance Mass Spectrometry.

FT-ICR MS covers the widest molecular mass range from 50 to >10,000 atomic mass units/Dalton and is therefore a perfect tool for characterizing polar compounds occurring in crude oils, tar mats, shale extracts, native bitumens, oil seeps, and asphaltene fractions.

The ONSET Project

  • Kicks off in March 2016 with a minimum of four participants.
  • Duration: 6 months
  • Intentionally very inexpensive.
  • Each company donates two samples to the consortium. Background information on geology and hydrocarbon geochemistry should be provided, though sample details can be kept anonymous and generalised.
  • Mixed sources, produced versus in-place oil, tar mats, source and reservoir extracts can all be considered.
  • Data for six samples from the GEOS4 database (Major crude oil types and/or crude oils from the Norwegian Petroleum Directorate) will supplement the samples provided by our clients, at no cost to the initial ONSET member consortium.


  • Whole oils and whole reservoir core extracts will be analysed using FT-ICR MS in electrospray negative ion mode.
  • The compound classes coming under scrutiny are carbozoles (N1), phenols (O1), acids (O2) and heteroatom combinations (N1O1, N1O2, N1S1). In each case, the relative abundances of e.g. 1, 2, 3, 4, etc ring systems and/or double bonds (as Double Bond Equivalents DBE), and the chain length distribution of aliphatic substituents for each DBE class will be quantified and the results interpreted. 
  • Additional major species, natural and anthropogenic, will be identified.
  • The interpretation report will be accompanied by targeted data in tabular form, interpretation diagrams and geochemical indices.
  • The influence of facies, maturity, retention, mixing and biodegradation on polar compound composition will be considered, in close cooperation with the sponsors.

Download the project flyer here.

Please get in touch by telephone or email if you have any comments or questions, or if you want to enroll in the project.