Hydrocarbon Generation

We believe that source-rock kinetics provide the best way to directly evaluate the progress of hydrocarbon generation from laboratory analysis. We alone among geoscience consultancies have the ability to accurately calculate the Transformation Ratio of a kerogen from the measured Mean Activation Energy (Mean Ea), and from the present-day measured Hydrogen Index (Waples and Tobey, 2015). This information is of course important for conventional exploration plays, but absolutely essential for unconventional plays, where lack of local maturity cannot be compensated by migration from a distant mature kitchen.

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Hydrocarbon generation can also be calculated with confidence using a well-calibrated maturity model. The keys to success in this calculation are to have a geologically realistic model and the best possible kinetics. We are experts in meeting both those requirements.

Although most studies today use the same kinetics for oil generation and gas generation, it will soon be routine to calculate oil generation and gas generation separately, using different kinetics. We are prepared for this change, since we can now provide an approximate separation of kinetics for total hydrocarbon generation (the kind of kinetics used by most people) into separate kinetics for oil and gas. This inexpensive transformation will be extremely valuable for those who want to distinguish oil and gas in their exploration evaluations.

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Kinetics for the Abu Roash “D,” which is a Type III kerogen that generates a significant percentage of gas. Cyan histogram shows total hydrocarbon kinetics, while the other two displays divide those kinetics into oil (green) and gas (red) kinetics, shown in two different formats.

After determining the appropriate kinetics, we calculate hydrocarbon generation directly using our Novva software.