Introductory Geochemistry for Condensate-Rich Shales and Tight Oil

Introductory Geochemistry for Condensate-Rich Shales and Tight Oil, taught by Christopher Laughrey, has been created for geoscientists and engineers who need to integrate basic petroleum geochemistry data with other geologic and engineering data for shale-gas and tight-oil unconventional resource play evaluation. Technicians performing many of these fundamental geochemical measurements in commercial, government, and university laboratories can also benefit from this course. This course will be taking place Wednesday February 12, 2014 in Houston, Texas, and is part of the Winter Education Conference. For more details:

Participants should be able to accomplish the following by the end of the course:

–Select and use the basic geochemical screening tools designed for initial petroleum source rock evaluation: total organic carbon (TOC), programmed pyrolysis, vitrinite reflectance/visual kerogen analysis, and gas chromatography of source-rock extracts.
–Apply these basic screening tools to shale-gas and tight-oil reservoir evaluation. Select and use more advanced geochemical techniques for shale-gas and tight-oil reservoir analyses: organic petrography, canister gas content analyses, stable gas-isotope geochemistry, crude oil
screening, Gas Chromatography-Mass Spectrometry, biomarker analyses, C7 hydrocarbons, Diamondoids, and fluid inclusions.
–Estimate oil and cracked gas yields from basic geochemical data and correlate these results to production data.
–Use mass balance equations to calculate the original total organic carbon and hydrogen index of thermally mature and post mature source rocks.
–Understand the role of oil fingerprinting technology in evaluating reservoir connectivity and allocating comingled oil production in unconventional reservoirs.
–Integrate geochemical data with geological, petrophysical, and geophysical data for comprehensive shale-gas and tight-oil reservoir evaluation.


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.

Last 5 posts by Susan Nash

Share and Enjoy:
  • Digg
  • Sphinn
  • Facebook
  • Mixx
  • Google Bookmarks
  • BlogMemes
  • LinkedIn
  • Reddit
  • StumbleUpon
  • Technorati
  • Tumblr
  • TwitThis