Petroleum Geology

History, Genesis, Exploration, Resources

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Hydrocarbons (petroleum and gas) result from the transformation of organic matter within sedimentary rocks. Three conditions are necessary for an hydrocarbon accumulation to be formed: the presence of a source rock in which, if present, the organic matter will be transformed; the existence of reservoir rocks in which hydrocarbons will migrate and evolve; the presence of traps in which oil and gas will be accumulated and concentrated.
This book covers the spectrum of petroleum geology from the initial sedimentology to the economic aspects of estimations of resources and reserves on a planetary scale. It includes the study of the migration of fluids in the sediment through exploration methods, the exploitation of the accumulations and the typology of oil fields.
The book is addressed to master’s degree students, petroleum exploration professionals wanting to update their know-how and knowledge skills.

Table of Contents

Chapter 1: History of petroleum utilisation

1  The use of oil before the industrial revolution
1.1 During Prehistory
1.2 During Antiquity and the Middle Ages and until the 18th century
2  The petroleum revolution of the second half of the 19th century
2.1 From oil lamp to combustion engine
2.2 The petroleum as motor fuel revolution
3  Stages of petroleum industrialisation
3.1 Industrial production and the creation of “major companies”
3.2 Exploration techniques and prospecting methods
3.3 From the 1950s to the 1970s
3.4 From the 1980s to the present day
3.5 The advances of petroleum geosciences

Chapter 2: The Physical and Chemical Properties of Petroleum
1  Definitions of petroleum types
2  Nature, composition and classification of natural gases
3  Nature and origin of non-hydrocarbon gases
3.1 Helium and other inert gases
3.2 Dinitrogen
3.3 Dihydrogen
3.4 Carbon dioxide
3.5 Hydrogen sulphide
3.6 Other gases
4  Gas hydrates
5  Nature, chemical composition and classification of crude oils
5.1 Colour, odour and viscosity
5.2 Classification of crudes
5.3 Content of other elements
5.4 Molecular Composition
6  Solid forms of oil
7  The special case of coals

Chapter 3: Physical conditions of rocks and fluids in sedimentary basins
1  Pore pressure
2  Temperature
3  The role of water
3.1 Groundwater
3.2 Aquifer flows
3.3 Real or apparent hydrodynamic tilts
3.4 Natural case studies
4  Relationships between pressures and temperatures for petroleum fluids
5  Sediment compaction, stress regimes, normal and abnormal pressures
5.1 Sediment compaction
5.2 Stress regimes
6  Pore pressure assessment methods
6.1 Definitions
6.2 Abnormal pressures
7  The notion of retention capacity and integrity of rocks
7.1 Retention capacity of a seal
7.2 Retention integrity of a seal
7.3 Respective domains of capacity and integrity of seals

Chapter 4: Petroleum system and geopetroleum chain
1  What is a petroleum system?
1.1 The static aspect of a petroleum system
1.2 The dynamic aspect of an oil system
1.3 The efficiency of a petroleum system
2  What is a source rock?
3  What is a petroleum play?
4  Petroleum system functioning chronology and critical moment
5  Digital modelling

Chapter 5: Hydrocarbon generation
1  Main components of the living organic matter
2  Favourable environments for the organic matter deposition
2.1 Accumulation mechanisms of the organic matter
2.2 Source rock distribution over geologic time scale
3  Post-deposition transformation of the organic matter
3.1 Early diagenesis and kerogen formation
3.2 Different kerogen types
3.3 Rock-Eval® method principles
3.4 Thermal diagenesis, catagenesis-metagenesis phases and hydrocarbon generation

Chapter 6: Hydrocarbon migration, petroleum seals and traps
1  Primary migration conditions of hydrocarbons
2  Secondary migration and accumulation of hydrocarbons in a reservoir
2.1 Physical conditions of hydrocarbons secondary migration
2.2 Drainage areas
2.3 The petroleum reservoir
3  Petroleum seals
3.1 Identification of sealing intervals
3.2 Fault sealing
4  Traps and hydrocarbon trapping
5  Hydrocarbon preservation in traps
5.1 Secondary thermal cracking
5.2 Thermal sulphate reduction
5.3 Water washing
5.4 Gas loss or gas injection in a reservoir
5.5 Deasphalting
5.6 Oil biodegradation

Chapter 7: Methods and tools of petroleum evaluation
1  Questions and reasoning methods
2  Need to locate the generative system
2.1 Without subsurface data (so-called frontier exploration)
2.2 In mature exploration context
3  Present time petroleum kitchen mapping
3.1 Without subsurface data (frontier exploration)
3.2 In mature exploration context
4  Mapping methods of active kitchens
4.1 Hydrocarbon migration timing
4.2 Petroleum trap formation timing
4.3 Active kitchen mapping
5  Hydrocarbon migration efficiency
6  Petroleum results inventory
6.1 Hydrocarbon shows while drilling
6.2 Hydrocarbon shows observed from cores
6.3 Wireline borehole sampling:
6.4 DST (drill stem test) surface sampling
7  Well database
8  Migration pathways visualisation
9  Drainage areas at maximum burial depth
9.1 In normal cases
9.2 In case of structural inversion
10  Estimation and calculation of the hydrocarbon charge of a prospect
10.1 Standard evaluation approach
10.2 Specific approach to hydrocarbon charge
11  Evolution of generative capacity in relation to the generating systems geological age
12  Global petroleum system yields
12.1 Definition of a Petroleum System Yield (PSY)
12.2 Yet-to-find endowment

Chapter 8: Techniques and methods of petroleum prospecting
1  Petroleum drilling
1.1 Operational principle: techniques and drilling tools
1.2 Drilling fluids (muds)
1.3 Deviation problem
1.4 Sampling problems and related studies
2  Logging while and after drilling
3  Geophysical methods
3.1 Gravimetry and magnetism
3.2 Seismic reflection
3.3 3D seismic
3.4 4D seismic
4  Evaluation of surface hydrocarbon seepages
4.1 Direct evaluation by sea floor coring
4.2 Evaluation by indirect methods
5  Geopetroleum evaluation methods and their integration
5.1 From exploration to appraisal and development
5.2 Petroleum interpretation and prospect generation
6  Reservoir engineering methods
6.1 On stream production methods and reserve evaluation
6.2 Unconventional hydrocarbons
7  Exploration strategy elements
7.1 Exploration license
7.2 Exploration decisions
7.3 After the first wildcat
7.4 Economic criteria influencing exploration strategy
7.5 Petroleum partnerships

Chapter 9: Examples of specific petroleum basins
1  Explanation of the choice of petroleum basin examples
2  Example of a rift followed by a passive margin phase: the Lower Congo Basin
2.1 Tectono-sedimentary framework, petroleum exploration context
2.2 Petroleum characteristics
3  Example of a large delta: the Niger Delta Basin
3.1 Tectono-sedimentary framework, petroleum exploration context
3.2 Petroleum characteristics
4  Example of an intra-cratonic basin: Paris Basin
4.1 Tectono-sedimentary framework, petroleum exploration context
4.2 Petroleum characteristics
5  Example of a foreland basin: the North and the South Pyrenean Basins
5.1 Tectono-sedimentary framework, petroleum exploration context
5.2 Petroleum characteristics

Chapter 10: Hydrocarbon resources and reserves
1  Definitions and evaluation methods of hydrocarbon fields
1.1 Evaluation definitions and methods established in the world industry
1.2 Evaluation procedures of hydrocarbon recoverable volumes
1.3 Deterministic and probabilistic methods
1.4 Aggregation methods
2  Hydrocarbon prospective resources evaluation methods
3  World oil and gas production profiles
4  The yet-to-find hydrocarbons notion

Useful formulae
Parameters derived from pyrolysis
Transformation ratio
Correction for maturity
Global quantity of hydrocarbons
Trapping capability of a seal
Pressures and hydrodynamism

Unit conversion
Multiples and submultiples
Anglo-Saxon prefixes
Conversion of tons into barrels and barrels into tons
Conversion of gas condensate contents
Conversion of gas into toe or boe
Conversion between metric and Anglo-Saxon units
Conversion formulae



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