Hydrocarbon Geochemistry Print E-mail

Hydrocarbon occurrences (oils, gases and hydrocarbon shows) can be thought of as the end-products of active petroleum systems, and can therefore provide valuable insights as to the provenance of hydrocarbons reservoired within a basin. Detailed characterisation of reservoired hydrocarbons from, for example, n-alkanes, biomarker and isotope data, can indicate:

 - their likely source(s) (oil-source correlation);
 - whether they resemble, or differ from, nearby accumulations (oil-oil correlation);
 - whether they are mixed (the result of more than one charge);
 - whether they were expelled from the same source rock at different stages of its maturity, or from more than one source rock;
 - the maturity of the source rocks at the time of expulsion;
 - the overall efficiency of the petroleum system(s) involved.

Such knowledge can be critical to the ongoing formulation of exploration strategy and the risking and ranking of prospects.