May 14, 2014

Think Molecular!

GEOS4 has published an article about basic concepts and major advantages of molecular kerogen analysis. Going beyond simple, routine Rock Eval typing schemes, we demonstrate by example that molecular characterisation does make a difference, and that it is the foundation of compositional kinetic modelling. Get a grip on new ideas and practical applications with this intro to molecular thinking in petroleum geochemistry: "Think Molecular - it Translates into Pay!" (Geo ExPro March 2014).

Molecular characterisation is a prerequisite for the prediction of first-formed petroleum compositions: phase envelopes of generated petroleum strongly depend on size of original building blocks in the kerogen, besides, of course, level of maturity. Molecular analysis provides also a most convenient way to assess sorption capacities.

We address kerogen aromaticity as the key parameter: aromaticity and sorption capacity are positively correlated. That is most important for unconventional petroleum systems, where increased organic matter aromaticity leads generally to a much higher sorption capacity at all maturity levels, which can significantly lower the expulsion efficiency. This has large implications for the assessment of gas-in-place (GIP) and the design of effective production strategies.