AAPG Southwest Section

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Direct Hydrocarbon Fingerprinting from cores - a Novel application in Unconventional rocks from West Texas

Abstract

The newly developed, and recently patented CRS (Chemical Reaction Spectrophotometry) technology holds significant promise for characterization of unconventional reservoirs by directly fingerprinting the hydrocarbons. The precursor of this technology has been well tested in environmental industry in terms of TPH (Total Petroleum Hydrocarbon) estimation by visual method and validated by EPA and others. At the heart of this technique lies a set of chemical reactions that produce robust chromophores in the ultraviolet and visible regions of the electromagnetic spectrum with constituents in crude oils. These chromophores also serve as spectral markers to form unique spectral fingerprints that have been utilized to develop CRS technology.

Fifteen cores from West Texas covering Permian, Pennsylvanian and Devonian rocks were analyzed. The wells were drilled between 1955 and 1988, and the cores were not stored with any special preservation methods. Small pieces of the cores were crushed and thereafter subjected to CRS technique – a) hydrocarbon (aromatic) extraction by solvent, b) chromophore creation by coloring agent, and c) color and spectrogram development.