Exploration and Exploitation Geochemistry

Chemical measurements of gas, oil, and water are powerful tools for upstream and downstream applications. However, their real value may not be fully realized when dealing with large numbers of samples and measured variables. The cross between geochemistry and chemometrics provides a critical link and opens up solutions to key problems found in every facet of petroleum exploration and exploitation.

Geological explorationGas chromatography, mass spectrometry, spectroscopy and pyrolysis techniques create vast quantities of data.  This multivariate data is often interpreted using one or two variables at a time but, to work efficiently and reliably, we must process all of the data simultaneously. Chemometrics extracts information from multivariate data for:

  • Process understanding – explore patterns of association in data;
  • Continuous quality assessment – track properties of materials;
  • Discrete quality assessment – multivariate classification models.

A two-day custom course interweaves these topics and demonstrates how the approach relates to upstream exploration, production and to refining.

  1. Introduction to organic geochemistry – the purpose, the types of data and an approach to their efficient handling;
  2. Chemometrics overview – basic principles of multivariate analysis without focus on the math and how it leads to automating interpretation of data
  3. Instrumental methods of analysis – use of GC, GC/MS, mass spectrometry, IR spectroscopy, and pyrolysis and their tradeoff between cost and reliability;
  4. Visualizing data and exploratory data analysis – understanding and mining of data sets using principal component and cluster analysis, statistical process control, inferential modeling;
  5. Exploration geochemistry – using instruments to generate biomarkers and evaluate source- and age-related parameters;
  6. Classification methods – the chemometrics means of grouping samples into tribes, oil-oil correlation, oil-source rock classification and product quality assessment;
  7. Regression analysis – inferring physical properties and unmixing multiple sources;
  8. Reservoir geochemistry – gas and oil fingerprinting, define compartments, reservoir continuity, casing leaks, contamination; and
  9. Refinery and support lab optimization – effective use of gas chromatography, automated interpretation.

Whether you are starting a new exploration campaign or trying to make the most of the vast body of data you have already collected, chemometrics provides tools that bring you to a better state of understanding.