We work directly with our partners at StratoChem Services to measure kinetics on source-rock samples at all levels of maturity. Pyrolysis is carried out using our Source Rock Analyzer (SRA) instrument, and the kinetic parameters are then derived by Sirius Exploration Geochemistry using the new ORFA software, which we developed jointly with StratoChem. Kinetic parameters measured on immature samples serve both as input data for computer modeling of hydrocarbon generation, and as the foundation for using Mean Activation Energy (Mean Ea) as a thermal indicator.
Moreover, because different types of kerogens have different activation-energy distributions, kinetics can be used to detect lateral or vertical changes in organofacies. This information can then be used to find the organofacies-related sweet spots in an unconventional play, and thus can directly affect drilling and acquisition/relinquishment programs.
Finally, source-rock kinetics can be used to evaluate both the level of hydrocarbon generation from a source rock (Transformation Ratio), and the vitrinite reflectance (Ro) value of each sample. The Ro value in turn can be used to calibrate the proposed thermal history of the sample, and thus can improve our understanding of the geological history of the study area. As Waples and Marzi (1998) showed in the figure below, there is no universal correlation between Ro and Transformation Ratio. Thus Ro can be used as a proxy for hydrocarbon generation only if the empirical relationship between Ro and TR has been established using kinetics technology.
The example below shows precisely how the Mean Ea-TR-Ro relationships can differ strongly from one kerogen to another.