The course is a practical and applied introduction to geochemical techniques routinely employed in shale-gas/condensate and tight-oil reservoir assessment. Class emphasis is on explaining which tools and techniques can best address specific questions, what caveats must be kept in mind when employing these tools, what are the strengths and limitations of petroleum geochemistry in resource plays, and how to interpret conflicting data from different analyses. Theory is kept to a minimum and select practical exercises help participants learn to review geochemical data, recognize problems with the data, and begin to cultivate a feel for interpreting geochemical data and integrating these interpretations with other geological information.
The following analytical techniques will be discussed: Leco TOC, Source Rock Analyzer (SRA) and Rock-Eval programmed pyrolysis, Dean Stark and Soxhlet extraction, liquid and gas chromatography, gas chromatography-mass spectrometry, organic petrology using reflected light microscopy, fluorescence microscopy, and advanced scanning electron microscopy (SEM).
Several interpretive approaches will be discussed including routine parameters for TOC, programmed pyrolysis, extract composition and quantities, and organic petrology. Special emphasis is given to the many caveats associated with assessing thermal maturity in resource plays. Participants will complete exercises interpreting pyrograms, gas chromatograms, and elementary Gas Chromatography – Mass Spectroscopy (GCMS) data. The class will employ various cross plots and simple mathematics to interpret stable isotope data, calculate original TOC, hydrogen index, and oil and cracked gas yields, and interpret gas chromatography data for an oil fingerprinting exercise.