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ABSTRACT: Potential Generation Capacity of the South Louisiana Hydrocarbon System


Quantitative hydrocarbon estimation is required in most exploration and development analyses. Detailed regional two-dimensional hydrocarbon maturation-migration modeling/simulation yields a quasi three-dimensional dynamic evolutionary portrayal of the south Louisiana hydrocarbon system. Computer numerical simulation reveals the cyclic nature of hydrocarbon generation, migration, and mixing processes by showing the entire series of phase-specific time-stratigraphic (Jurassic Pleistocene) zones that contributed contents to productive reservoirs.

By applying maturation and migration analyses to regional lithologic thickness patterns and identifying environments of deposition, hydrocarbon generation volumes are calculated and used for predicting probable total reservoir admixtures. The amounts of vertically migrated oil are estimated by assuming that the driving force stems primarily from fluid pressure build-up brought on by time-depth related thermal maturation. The timing of probable hydrocarbon expulsion from each contributing zone of maturation is a key factor and especially useful in the simulation process; and in turn, this facilitates quantitative volumetric estimates of zone-specific contributions to individual reservoir's.

The original oil in place for productive reservoirs is compiled from field production data and then compared to the estimated hydrocarbon generation capacity of the area supplying the respective fields. Such an analysis may be useful in evaluating further regional exploration or field development potential in moderate to heavily drilled basins.

AAPG Search and Discovery Article #90941©1997 GCAGS 47th Annual Meeting, New Orleans, Louisiana