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Activation Energies of Kerogen in the Eagle Ford Shale Estimated From Rock-Eval Pyrolysis Data: Comparison of Methods Using Single and Multiple Heating Rates

Abstract

Source rock kinetics have become increasingly important when it comes to defining kerogen maturity and basin modeling. Recent studies have suggested that the activation energies needed for these applications can be obtained using one-run open-system pyrolysis with a single heating rate and a fixed frequency factor. This method is thought to be faster and cheaper than using multiple heating rates with a varying frequency factor. In this study, we found the activation energies of 7 organic-rich samples from the Eagle Ford Shale. The one-run method used a single heating rate of 25 °C/min, while the multiple run method used heating rates of 5, 10, 20, and 50 °C/min. Activation energies obtained from the one-run method were found using ORFA kinetics software while energies from the multiple heating rate method were calculated in accordance with the Kissinger equation. Both of the methods calculated energies based on the data from an S2 peak, which was obtained using a Rock-Eval 6. The experimental results showed that the one-run method produced larger (by an average of 11.97 Kcal), more consistent values than the multiple run method. In order to properly compare these two methods, additional experiments will need to be completed on several different basins and on kerogen of different maturity