• Science of Kerogen: Engineering Applications for Shale Exploration & Production - Paul Craddock

    Kerogen is solid, black organic matter in sedimentary rocks. It is the source of all petroleum and, in organic-rich source rocks, also hosts porosity, influencing storage and transport of petroleum in shale. Despite its importance, kerogen cannot be analyzed by traditional laboratory techniques, such as gas chromatography used to study oils, and the composition and properties of kerogen are not well understood in general.

    In this presentation, I will describe analytical developments that have advanced the science of kerogen. Recent studies show that kerogen composition and properties vary substantially, and that this variability is highly correlated to the thermal history of the kerogen and is remarkably similar among major oil- and gas-producing shales globally. I will introduce several applications for shale exploration and development that are made possible by this gained scientific knowledge of kerogen. In one application, more accurate and consistent evaluations of shale porosity and hydrocarbon-in-place are achieved by objectively optimizing petrophysical properties of kerogen needing only knowledge of the thermal maturity of the kerogen. In other applications, kerogen characterization can be used to identify favorable zones for well placement and production as well as new potential enhanced hydrocarbon recovery schemes in shale.

    This lecture illuminates the science of kerogen and how it can advance our understanding of industry-disruptive organic-rich shales, from exploration to production.

    This presentation is from the Distinguished Lecturer 2020-21 season.

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  • Science of Kerogen: Engineering Applications for Shale Exploration & Production - Paul Craddock