Basin Modeling

We offer to the petroleum-exploration industry a broad range of geochemical and modeling services and products. Let us help you.

Our Philosophy

We believe that the most effective way to generate new play concepts, refine old ideas, and ultimately be highly successful in petroleum exploration, is to increase the depth and breadth of our geologic knowledge. Without a profound understanding of the region(s) in question, the results of interest (e.g., calculated number of barrels of oil generated or migrated) are generally of lower quality and result in more missed exploration opportunities. Therefore, the primary modeling focus of Sirius Exploration Geochemistry is to build the best-possible 1D, 2D, or 3D geologic models for our clients, and to extract maximum new understanding and ideas from the model-building and model-running processes. Because most learning occurs during construction of the 1D models (where questions about thermal history, tectonics, and reconstruction of unconformities are addressed), we emphasize the value of 1D modeling as a stand-alone technology that will change your exploration ideas. Integrated Geohistory Analysis, which Sirius invented, is the most-powerful tool available for this task. Click here to download our IGA informational brochure.

In the process of building these 1D models, we focus on integrating all aspects of geology with each other: for example, tectonics with sedimentation rates and lithologies, and with heat-flow history; and paleobathymetry and paleoelevation with tectonics, eustasy, and isostasy. Click here to watch our “Hidden Benefits of 1-D Modeling” video (Waples, 2017), which explains in detail our philosophy of modeling, and how our approach can benefit you. Click here to watch our “Building Better 1-D Maturity Models” video (Waples, 2018b), which illustrates our ideas about fully integrating all geological information into basin models. Click here to view our video on “Integrated Geohistory Analysis

That said, because 1D simulations alone cannot model pressures, migration, or trapping of hydrocarbons (which are of great interest to those exploring both conventional and hybrid plays), we also carry out 2D and 3D modeling studies. We do so in full recognition that prediction of fluid-flow (migration) patterns includes significant uncertainties about permeability along the various possible migration pathways. In our migration modeling we strive to replicate system permeabilities rather than permeabilities derived solely from laboratory measurements on hand samples.

The choice of 1D, 2D, or 3D modeling will depend upon the client’s needs and goals, as well as on the data available for the study. Studies normally focus on one or both of the two main areas of basin modeling: maturity modeling and migration modeling, the latter of which includes expulsion, migration, and trapping of hydrocarbons. We carry out Integrated Geohistory Analysis and studies that focus entirely or primarily on maturity questions using our Novva 1D software. In 1D modeling, individual locations are modeled independently of each other. Regional studies can easily be carried out by modeling multiple locations that can include calibration wells, non-calibration wells, and pseudowells, which are usually located along seismic lines.

Migration-modeling studies, in contrast, normally utilize 2D or 3D software designed specifically for the purpose of modeling fluid flow and trapping. Migration can be modelled using a variety or combination of approaches, including the traditional Darcy-flow, invasion percolation (IP), and flowpath method.

2D and 3D modeling studies often begin with the construction of 1D models. Most of the development of geologic concepts and calibration of the models is carried out in 1D, even when the ultimate goal is a 2D or 3D model. We strongly encourage a major focus on building and extraction of fundamental geologic information and ideas from 1D Novva models in all studies.


Products Background

Novva software

Our Novva software is a unique and powerful tool for geological investigation and integration. No other 1D modeling software can compare with its technical completeness, multiple options, and built-in aids for modelers. Its interview format allows even inexperienced or occasional users to easily build sophisticated, high-quality models, and to make important new discoveries about the geological history while constructing those models.


ORFA Kinetics Software

ORFA, an acronym for “One Run, Fixed A”, was developed by Sirius jointly with our partners at StratoChem Services. ORFA converts Rock-Eval, SRA, or Hawk pyrolysis data from a single run into a set of activation energies, once the user has specified the desired A factor. ORFA will also break the bulk or total-hydrocarbon kinetics into separate kinetics for oil and gas generation, using a method similar to that published by Waples and Mahadir Ramly (2001).


Regional Studies

All 2D and 3D modeling studies are by definition regional. Most 1D modeling studies are also regional, since we normally model multiple locations rather than simply a single point. All regional studies must be carefully constructed so that geological concepts and data (e.g., ages, lithologies, names) are consistent across the study area. Some of this consistency (e.g., names) is mainly for bookkeeping purposes, but other aspects are much more fundamental. For example, one must develop a consistent geologic model for the entire study area (and possibly beyond the boundaries of the study area proper, in order to avoid a variety of edge effects related to thinking too much inside the “box” and for contouring of trends), in order to build the best models possible. This approach includes what we call Integrated Geohistory Analysis (IGA). In addition, all geologic trends (lithology, erosion, heat flow, etc.) must vary in geologically reasonable ways across the study area.

At Sirius we carry out regional 1D modeling studies of maturity, as well as 2D and 3D migration-modeling studies. We use our Novva software for 1D modeling, which can also provide a foundation for 2D and 3D models built with other basin modeling software. We use Petromod or Trinity to conduct our 2D and 3D studies. 1D, 2D, and 3D models can be built on a range of scales, from basin to prospect, depending on the needs of the client and the availability of input data.

We strongly prefer to work in direct collaboration with our clients, since they can provide local expertise that we would not always be able to duplicate if we were working alone. The final collaborative product is thus much more likely to be robust and of maximum value for our client’s exploration program and decisions. This work plan also provides training to our clients in both the technology and philosophy of basin modeling, as well as in integrated geological thinking.

We have done both proprietary (single client studies) and multiclient regional studies. We are happy to work in whatever way best suits each client’s needs and preferences. Click here to see the regional studies that we have available for purchase and immediate delivery. Click here to contact us to open the discussion about how we can help you with a regional modeling study that will change your thinking and economics.


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