Petroleum exploration has always been limited by the lack of adequate subsurface control. Exploration problems are usually problems of extrapolation i.e. to greater depth, to laterally equivalent rocks, or back through time.

Models are widely used as a way of describing complex geological systems so that they can be treated quantitatively and used as the basis for extrapolations and predictions. Models consider, typically, a simplified geological system that can be described mathematically. It is very important to know what simplifying assumptions have been made, when these assumptions are valid, and under what conditions their use may not be appropriate. This requires an understanding of the concepts involved in building the model and how the model operates.

Models are best used as a tool for probing the system and evaluating the sensitivity of the conclusions to possible uncertainties in the values of the input parameters. In a sense, models permit experimental petroleum geochemistry and allow the user to answer the What if? questions e.g. What if the geothermal gradient had been higher in the past? What if the organic matter type had been different?

This book provides students, exploration geologists, and others who would like to use the available models, with a general idea of how the models work, what they can do, and what their limitations are.

It also provides the information necessary to obtain the input data required by the commercial models.

Table of Contents

Preface. TIME AND TEMPERATURE IN PETROLEUM GENERATION. Introduction. Chemical terminology. Analytical methods. Recent sediments. Petroleum generation. Biogenic gas. Petroleum migration. Maturation and alteration of petroleum in reservoirs. Classical source rock evaluation. Nature and amount of petroleum products. Correlation. INTRODUCTION TO THERMAL MODELS. Introduction. Kinetics. Thermal models. BURIAL HISTORY. Introduction. Multiple layers. Construction of simple burial history. Sediment accumulation rates. Compaction. Unconformities. Rotation of beds (including folding). Faulting. Intrusions and diapirs. Water depth (Paleobathymetry). Exceptions to site–specific reconstructions. Timing of structure development. Geologic Ages. PRESENT DAY TEMPERATURES. Thermal regimes. Present day temperatures. Drilling–induced complications. Geologic complications. PALEOTEMPERATURES. Representing temperatures. Geologic setting. Direct measurement. Calculation from thermal conductivity and heat flow. Paleosurface temperatures. Complicating factors. TIME/TEMPERATURE COMBINATIONS AND THE LOPATIN METHOD. Early models. The Lopatin method and calculation of TTI. Calibration. Oil window. Limitations of the Lopatin method. TISSOT–ESPITALIE TYPE KINETIC MODELS. Introduction. Models. Sources of E, A data. Time intervals. Checks on validity of models. Relationship to Lopatin. USES OF MATURITY MODELING. Introduction. Generation status. Timing of generation. Modeling oil versus gas. Preservation. Sensitivity to modeled conditions. Limitations of thermal models. EXTENDED MODELS. Introduction. Quantities generated. 2–D models


© 1996
Elsevier Science
Print ISBN:
Electronic ISBN:

About the editor

C. Barker

Affiliations and Expertise

University of Tulsa, Department of Geosciences, Tulsa, OK, USA


@qu:This is a valuable new book, that fills the need for a thorough review and evaluation of the various techniques used to predict the generation of petroleum. (...) Barker must also be congratulated on the very extensive reference list on which his book is based. (...) In conclusion, this book is highly recommended to anyone who carries out or uses the results of thermal modelling studies. It should be available to active exploration groups, model developers and libraries. @source:Journal of Petroleum Science and Engineering Volume 23 @qu:...This book is highly recommended to anyone who carries out or uses the results of thermal modelling studies. @source:Journal of Petroleum Science and Engineering