--> New Rock-Eval method for characterization of unconventional resources

European Regional Conference and Exhibition

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New Rock-Eval method for characterization of unconventional resources


Unconventional resources such as tight, fractured and hybrid shale plays are considered self-contained source and reservoir systems. A better understanding of the thermal cracking of sedimentary organic matter, hydrocarbons generation, expulsion, storage and retention mechanisms constitutes a key point, estimating the oil and gas in-place, free or adsorbed, for their exploration and exploitation.

Meanwhile, the increasing interest in unconventional resources requires the development of new methods providing operational relevant parameters devoted to exploration and production of these new plays. Herein, we introduce a new “ready to use” method of analysis and interpretation for the Rock-Eval 6 device for better assessment of free or sorbed hydrocarbons in shale plays. In this work, we introduce a specific “IFPEN Shale Play” method, including a new pyrolysis program and associated parameters for evaluation of shale play samples such as tight, fractured and hybrid source/reservoir rocks.

The proposed method was developed at IFPEN (France) and was tested on 14 actual or potential shale play samples from Silurian Shale (Algeria), Mississippian Barnett Shale (USA), Early Jurassic Shale (France) and Late Jurassic Bazhenov Shale (Russia) at different thermal maturity stages. This specific Rock-Eval method attempts to optimally quantify hydrocarbons still present within unconventional dual source/reservoir rocks. Results indicate a better quantification of free and/or sorbed hydrocarbons (Sh0 & Sh1 peaks) as well as more accurate determination of the Rock-Eval Tmax maturity parameter.