Joel A. Legg
The University of Alabama, Department of Geological Sciences
An analysis of the Neal (Floyd) Shale in the Black Warrior Basin will be conducted in order to determine its potential as an unconventional reservoir for natural gas and oil. Focused ion beam milling coupled with scanning electron microscopy will be used to investigate the source of porosity within the shale at four different kerogen maturity levels. Once the source of porosity has been established, a kinetic model of porosity development, along with basin modeling will be used to estimate the type and volume of hydrocarbons that have been generated. A kinetic model based on total organic carbon (TOC), kerogen type and the hydrogen index (HI) will be used to estimate the porosity that has been induced by kerogen decomposition to oil and gas. This porosity will be coupled with basin modeling to determine the type and volume of hydrocarbons that have been generated. The mineralogy of the Neal (Floyd) Shale will be analyzed in order to explore brittleness, a primary factor governing hydraulic fracturing success. If sufficient hydrocarbons have been generated and stored within the shale and the mineralogy is suitable for successful hydraulic fracturing, production of petroleum from the Neal (Floyd) Shale will help produce a source of revenue and jobs for the state of Alabama, while helping achieve the U.S. goal of energy independence.
AAPG Search and Discovery Article #90182©2013 AAPG/SEG Student Expo, Houston, Texas, September 16-17, 2013