Petroleum Geochemistry | SLB

Petroleum Geochemistry

Understanding petroleum origin and processes controlling fluid behavior

Gas chromatography with isotope-ratio mass spectrometry measures the isotopic composition of compounds in reservoir fluids.

The petroleum geochemistry domain is fundamental to understanding exploration targets and risks as well as constraining basin-scale processes and models. It also directly applies to reservoir development and production and increasingly contributes to engineering domains such as flow assurance, phase behavior (PVT), and downstream processing.

Geochemical evaluation helps assess caprock integrity, carbon storage, and other subsurface containment challenges. Knowledge of the molecular composition, origin of fluids, and postplacement processes, together with understanding of their transport properties, is key to defining fluid property variations in reservoirs and developing the optimal approach to effective recovery.

Geochemical evaluation of source rocks and generated fluids is essential in modern exploration and production activities. Source rock research has advanced to include chemical and physical characterization technologies that enable a broader understanding of complex exploration and production targets, including shale reservoirs, where conventional approaches may no longer be effective.

Geochemical evaluation, in the context of geological and basin history, is critical to characterizing petroleum generation, migration, and entrapment as well as future in-reservoir processes and leads to greater exploration and drilling success.

Reduce HSE risks, ensure data accuracy, and expedite decisions.

Petroleum Geochemistry Services

Source rock evaluation

  • Basic evaluation (total organic carbon [TOC]; RockEval pyrolysis; organic petrography)
  • Advanced extraction (correlation of source rock and oil; pyrolysis gas chromatography [GC], mass spectrometry [MS], or both [GC-MS]; geomechanics integration)
  • Maze microfluidic SARA analysis

Biomarkers and molecular markers

  • Quantitative saturated- and aromatic-hydrocarbon fraction analysis
  • Custom polar-fraction analyses

Geochemical fingerprinting

Gas and liquid stable isotope analysis

  • Gas-source determination (biogenic vs. thermogenic)
  • Alteration-process identification (primary vs. secondary cracking)
  • Reservoir continuity study support
  • Mixing processes study support
  • Correlation and production allocation

Unconventional reservoir evaluation

  • Characterization of heavy oil and oil sand reservoirs
  • Study of self-sourcing liquid-rich and gas-rich shale reservoirs
  • High-resolution organic facies and maturity studies
  • Multiwell dataset integration
  • Mapping of high-quality reservoir zones
  • Integration with petroleum systems modeling

Project design and results interpretation