This conference will promote the exchange of new ideas among the leading experts from industry, academia, and government on the controls and impacts of inorganic and organic diagenesis on mudstone hydrocarbon generation, reservoir properties and seal quality.
The petroleum industry, academia, and government agencies are currently performing many studies to better understand the geologic processes involved during burial of mudstones and their evolution to form petroleum reservoirs, seals, and source rocks. Until recently, most researchers investigating shales concentrated their research efforts towards understanding: (a) hydrocarbon generation and expulsion, (b) seal capacity and (c) overpressure generation. Most data used to support these investigations were derived from organic geochemistry, relatively low magnification optical petrography, and bulk rock characterizations. Notably lacking from these studies is the characterization and evaluation of the potential impact of mudstone diagenesis.
New analytical techniques in scanning electron microscopy (SEM) have allowed investigating mudstone properties down to the nanometer scale. New SEM observations of mudstone micro-texture have revealed the presence of authigenic cements, and have captured various stages of the transformation of organic matter during petroleum generation. An improved understanding of mudstone organic and inorganic diagenesis is required to advance the ability to better predict shale reservoir quality and heterogeneity.