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An Integrated Source Rock Prediction Model


The presence and quality of hydrocarbon source rock is a prerequisite for petroleum generation, migration, and accumulation. The knowledge of the distribution of petroleum generating source rocks plays an important role in petroleum exploration investment decision making. Although decades of efforts have been devoted to this topic, source rock presence prediction remains a challenging task in petroleum exploration due to the complexity of the issue. The three prominent source rock depositional controls namely primary productivity, organic matter preservation, and sedimentation rate have been investigated and debated by schools of researchers. However these general concepts individually have shown limited predictive capability. Numerous examples have shown that one factor alone cannot predict oil-prone, organic-carbon-rich sediment deposition, and that multiple factors are often at work. Conventional marine source rock prediction approaches were fragmented and are typically done outside of geological basin framework. Ill-informed assumptions are also often made such as organic matter is deposited where it was produced (i.e. organic rich sediment redeposition was not investigated). An integrated forward source rock prediction model workflow was developed to produce more pertinent source rock deposition predictions. This quantitative basin modeling workflow was tested against a DSDP well. Results show a good fit between modeled and measured results indicating that the output of this workflow can be integrated into basin models in regions where geochemical data are limited to assess petroleum generation, migration and accumulated volumes and further characterize exploration risks.