Generating Global Petroleum Systems Maps From the Comfort of Your Office: Embracing Modernization and Data Transformation to Efficiently Generate Source Rock Maps
Influence of global modernization and digitization of source rock information cannot be understated when it comes to the changes in petroleum systems mapping. Understanding source rock presence, quality, and maturity around the globe through time and space was probably the dream of countless exploration geologists looking to find the next basin‐opening fairway in a frontier basin. The initial hurdles likely were dealing with the inherent inefficiencies related to handwritten reports/databases, finding unindexed materials, and spatially positioning data. Often teams had to travel to remote places and sample outcrops that may have been sampled unbeknownst to most of the broader geologic community. As computers became indispensable aspects of our daily lives, database management became easier and mapping became relatively easy, but data collection from public‐ domain sources was still time‐consuming and required a lot of manual digitization of historical work. With the introduction of the internet, the world became a lot smaller with countless studies, dissertations, reports, and other sources of digital, public‐domain data became accessible. This quickly enabled ever‐easier data mining efforts and quickly allowed access and exploration groups the luxury of screening basins for potential resources within weeks or months rather than years. As public satellite data also expanded, outcrops virtually became accessible without ever using your passport. These cultural and technological changes have been greatly augmented by the steady trend of more and more open‐access publications, software, and models/datasets. The rise of unconventional resources in the past 15 years has also fundamentally reshaped the petroleum industry and global energy mix. As unconventional exploration was attempted in many countries around the world, the amount of global data and reports has also greatly expanded into regions that may not have been extensively studied in the past due to low conventional exploration potential. This leads us to the current state of petroleum systems where getting your hands and head around the vast amounts of data is now arguably more difficult than getting access to it. This is likely where artificial intelligence (AI) and other technologies will have to be leveraged to make full use of the steady stream of unstructured and structured data being posted around the internet. The purpose of this study was to leverage ~500 different online sources of source rock data (papers, datasets, reports, etc.), which cover ~5,000 unique sites around the world. The data collected were focused on Rock‐Eval, visual kerogen, XRD data, organofacies, and thermal maturity information from the Cenomanian‐Turonian. Leveraging these data made it possible to generate global TOC and organofacies maps (pseudo gross depositional maps) with relative ease. The most time‐consuming aspect of this study is data collection, digitization and data management, which still is tremendously easier than it was in prior decades for the pioneers of petroleum systems analysis.
AAPG Datapages/Search and Discovery Article #90349 © 2019 AAPG Hedberg Conference, The Evolution of Petroleum Systems Analysis: Changing of the Guard from Late Mature Experts to Peak Generating Staff, Houston, Texas, March 4-6, 2019