Petroleum Fluids and Source Rocks in E&P Projects

Course Description

The course enables participants to interpret fluids and source rock data to add value to E&P projects from exploration to environmental remediation. Examples and case studies come from both conventional and unconventional petroleum systems around the world. The learning objectives are achieved through well-illustrated lectures, numerous hands-on exercises and active class discussions. We will cover the following topics:

  • Fundamentals of petroleum composition and properties;
  • Sampling of rocks and fluids;
  • Analytical techniques used to evaluate potential of source rocks and composition of petroleum fluids;
  • Characterization and risking of source rocks and prediction of fluid properties in exploration prospects;
  • Interpretation of data from drilled exploration wells to assess the value of the discovery;
  • Use of geochemical data to assess reservoir compartmentalization during appraisal and development;
  • Geochemical surveillance of oil & gas production;
  • Use of geochemical data to locate producing intervals and allocate petroleum production;
  • Identification of oil sources for petroleum spills and leaks.

Course Objectives

Upon completion of the course, participants will be able to:

  • Identify and propose geochemical solutions for E&P business problems;
  • Design cost-effective fit-for-purpose sampling/analysis programs for source rocks and petroleum fluids;
  • Construct expulsion profiles for different types of source rocks;
  • Predict fluid properties and product value in exploration and production wells;
  • Correlate oils to source rocks;
  • Interpret the origin of hydrocarbon and non-hydrocarbon natural gases;
  • Integrate geochemical interpretations into holistic petroleum systems analysis;

Course Outline

Day 1. Fundamentals of petroleum geochemistry. Sampling and analytical techniques

The first day introduces the participants to petroleum geochemistry. You will learn the composition of natural gases and oils and how to interpret gas and oil data. This will be followed by the discussion of sampling and analytical techniques for source rocks and petroleum fluids.

  • Welcome and introductions;
  • Petroleum composition and phases;
  • Interpretation of hydrocarbon and non-hydrocarbon natural gases (molecular composition and isotopes);
  • Interpretation of oils (from bulk parameters to biomarkers);
  • Post-accumulation processes (biodegradation, thermal sulfate reduction, water-washing etc.);
  • Sampling techniques (surface, drilling, production);
  • Analytical techniques (Rock-Eval, gas chromatography (GC), mass-spectrometry (GC/MS)).

Day 1 exercises: several short interpretation assignments followed by the major exercise on matching oil samples with whole oil GC traces.

Day 2. Petroleum exploration and drilling the prospect

The second day starts with the discussion of source rocks. Participants will interpret the quality and the potential of source rocks and will model petroleum expulsion. This will be followed by the discussion of exploration drilling and the data necessary to interpret the outcomes of exploration projects.

  • Source rock presence, maturity and potential;
  • Expulsion from various organofacies;
  • Prediction of fluid properties in exploration projects;
  • 1D burial history and maturity;
  • Fluids and pressure;
  • Petroleum seeps;
  • Oil-source correlations.

Day 2 exercises: mapping and interpreting source rocks; building expulsion profiles for various source rocks; constructing pressure profiles in subsurface; oil-source correlation.

Day 3. Appraisal, development, production, environmental and downstream projects

The third day focuses on the integration of petroleum geochemical data with other subsurface datasets to assist in appraisal, development and production of petroleum reservoirs. This will be followed by the discussion of petroleum spills and leaks. We will finish the course by studying how understanding of source rocks and petroleum fluids help create value in downstream projects.

  • Reservoir compartmentalization;
  • Time-lapse geochemistry (surveillance);
  • Production allocation;
  • Petroleum spills and leaks;
  • Oil value;
  • Gas value.

Day 3 exercises: unravelling compartmentalization of a reservoir; determining sources of oils collected after a major offshore spill.

Participants’ Profile

The course is designed for geoscientists, engineers and managers who work on exploration, appraisal, development, production and environmental projects and require competency in petroleum fluids and source rocks.

About the Instructor

Alexei V. Milkov is Full Professor and Director of Potential Gas Agency at Colorado School of Mines and a consultant to oil and gas industry. After receiving PhD from Texas A&M University, Dr. Milkov worked for BP, Sasol and Murphy Oil as geoscientist and senior manager. He explored for conventional and unconventional oil and gas in over 30 basins on six continents and participated in the discovery of more than 4 Billion BOE of petroleum resources. He also worked on several appraisal and production projects. Dr. Milkov has deep expertise in oil and gas geochemistry, petroleum systems modeling, exploration risk analysis, resource assessments and portfolio management. He published 50 peer-reviewed articles. Dr. Milkov received several industry awards including J.C. “Cam” Sproule Memorial Award from the American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG) for the best contribution to petroleum geology and Pieter Schenck Award from the European Association of Organic Geochemists (EAOG) for a major contribution to organic geochemistry.