Petroleum system modeling

Practical application of petroleum systems analysis is the base of petroleum exploration

The concept of petroleum system unifies all the elements and processes involved in the formation of petroleum accumulations, seeps or shows in sedimentary basins. It includes its essential elements, such as source-rock, reservoir, seal, and overburden rock, and the fundamental processes that make it effective (trap formation, hydrocarbon generation, migration and accumulation…).

However, as E&P companies are increasingly exploring for hydrocarbons in complex geologic environments, such as unconventional, deepwater or subsalt plays, tools are necessary to check the effectiveness of such complex systems by integrating information on all its elements and by explicitly simulating processes.

By integrating all available information, petroleum system models can give valuable insight on petroleum systems to help exploration teams to push in the same direction and can significantly reduce exploration risks. This technology is based on the modeling of the sedimentary basin evolution over geological times to account for burial, thermal history and fluid flow. It can also be successfully applied for geothermal applications or estimation of naturally released methane to address emerging concerns about global warming.

C6+ can offer a large variety of studies for better understand petroleum systems or de-risking plays:

  • Analysis of basin thermal history, source-rock maturity and hydrocarbon generation
  • Pore pressure prediction and analysis of hydrodynamic systems
  • Analysis of seal effectiveness and risk of failure
  • Reconstruction of oil and gas expulsion and migration pathways
  • Hydrocarbon alteration (biodegradation, TSR…)
  • Biogenic and thermogenic petroleum systems
  • Unconventional petroleum systems (shale plays, tight reservoirs, basin gas centered…)

C6+ consultants use, besides their wide experience, cutting-edge petroleum system modeling solutions to provide high quality and timely delivered results. Selected tools benefit from a unique reputation for scientific rigor and sound physical basis.

Unconventional petroleum systems

Unconventional petroleum systems mostly consist of organic-rich fine-grained sedimentary rock containing significant amounts of petroleum which was not expelled towards conventional petroleum systems. Besides the different techniques used to produce these resources, petroleum system modeling tools have developed dedicated technologies to better assess retention and expulsion mechanisms and to identify sweet spots more accurately. Study of unconventional petroleum systems can also greatly benefit from stratigraphic modeling for better source-rock analysis and statistics and machine learning for accurate sweet spot identification.

Biogenic systems

With current concerns about global warming and recent discoveries of giant gas fields in Eastern-Mediterranean basins, research efforts have been recently made to provide efficient tools for modeling biogenic gas systems. They provide powerful simulators to investigate these still poorly known systems and better understand geological methane both for exploration of low carbon energy sources and for assessment of geological emissions of naturally generated methane. Study of biogenic systems can also greatly benefit from stratigraphic modeling for better estimation of organic matter distribution.