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Petroleum Generation, Migration, and Trapping

Program Objectives

This course fills the gap between introductory geology courses for geophysicists and the specialized petroleum system courses suitable for exploration geologists. The course focuses on key factors that determine the movement of petroleum charge to trap. By integrating petroleum systems concepts with concepts of fluid flow and capillary pressure, the course shows how geological settings and basin history control the type and amount of petroleum charged to a prospect. The same concepts can be used to evaluate leakage from accumulations as well as trap lifetime. Specialized concepts will be developed from a basic level.

The course is designed to provide understanding of petroleum systems and the primary geological controls on prospect charge. In addition, this course enables geophysicists to communicate better with exploration geologists and help in understanding geological issues related to field development.

Course Outline

Day 1: Basic Concepts
  • Source Rocks
    • Characteristics
    • Measured parameters
    • Maturity and Transformation Ratio
  • Generation
    • Calculating genetic potential (amount generated per unit volume)
    • Calculating Source Potential Index (SPI)
    • Constructing Petroleum Generation Maps
  • Rock and Fluid Properties
    • Fluid potential
    • Interfacial tension and capillary pressure
    • Relative permeability, two phase flow
Day 2: Petroleum Migration
  • Primary Migration
    • Displacement of water
    • Expulsion Efficiencies
    • Expulsion mechanisms
  • Secondary stratal migration
    • General theory
    • Two-dimensional flow: thickness, velocity, saturation
    • Carrier bed concept
    • Migration losses
Day 3: Cross Stratal Migration
  • Characteristics of faults and fault fills
  • Along fault migration
  • Cross fault migration
  • Migration in natural hydraulic fractures
  • Migration through an open fracture
Day 4: Petroleum Entrapment
  • Types of accumulations
  • Fluid contacts
  • Seals and seal analysis
  • Fault traps
  • Examples
Day 5: Tools for Prospect Analysis
  • Petroleum systems
  • Regional seals
  • Fetch areas: definition and analysis
  • Charge analysis
  • Show analysis
  • Quantitative prospect assessment
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