--> Trends in the Evolution of Petroleum Geochemistry From Way Back Until Present

AAPG Hedberg Conference, The Evolution of Petroleum Systems Analysis

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Trends in the Evolution of Petroleum Geochemistry From Way Back Until Present


Organic geochemistry as a discipline has been continuously evolving from the pioneering work of Alfred Treibs on metallo‐porphyrins in petroleum in the 1930’s until the present day. From this beginning, petroleum geochemistry has become a significant area of investigation within the broader field of organic geochemistry. The evolution of petroleum geochemistry from a side‐bar in the search for oil and gas to an integral part of the exploration process has been the result of simultaneous advances in many different fields, including, but not limited to: • Analytical and data processing capabilities, and the accompanying advances in computer technology • Basic understanding of the formation and composition of sedimentary organic matter • Integration of geochemical data with geological processes, such as the relationship of kerogen compositions to depositional environments (e.g., organic matter types) • Geological concepts such as inorganic geochemistry, tectonics, sequence stratigraphy, petroleum systems modelling, sedimentary processes, etc., that provide the geologic context and constraints for the geochemical processes • Other disciplines, such as chemistry, microbiology, paleo‐botany, oceanography, and climate history that affect the formation and preservation of organic matter and the generation, migration, and alteration of petroleum. The continuing development of petroleum geochemistry can be seen in the changes in the geochemical literature. Starting with an early publication on pristane and isoprenoid occurrences (Haug and Curry, 1974), this presentation will use selected publications to illustrate the continual growth and evolution of petroleum geochemistry as principles, applications, and data integration processes change from being new and novel to becoming commonplace.