Practical Geochemical Methods to Assess Unconventional Reservoirs: a case study from the Permian Basin, Texas

Authors: Tim E. Ruble (1), Richard J. Drozd (1), and William A. Heck (2)

1 - Weatherford International Ltd., 5200 North Sam Houston Parkway West, Houston, TX 77086

2 - Heck Exploration Company, 606 W. Tennessee Ave., Midland, TX 79701


The Permian Basin is one of the most prolific petroleum systems in North America. It contains a diverse assemblage of Paleozoic aged source rocks that are currently the target of unconventional tight-oil and shale-gas exploration and development. This activity is largely dictated by geochemical screening parameters routinely employed to map and constrain the generative potential, kerogen type and expelled product, and thermal maturity of source rocks at the well- to basin-scale. These basic parameters include total organic carbon content, programmed pyrolysis and optical maturation parameters from organic petrology.

In this case study, a geochemical resource assessment has been conducted to evaluate select Paleozoic source rocks in the Eiland ‘4’ #1 well located in Ward County, Texas. Cuttings from this well were analyzed by a variety of geochemical techniques and basic hydrocarbon yield calculations were applied to estimate primary oil and secondary gas generation. These data were evaluated in the context of regional trends and have also been compared to well log data. This talk will present the complete results from the case study, review the basics and expand your horizons on practical applications of geochemistry.

Category: wtgs | Sub Category: lunch presentation