Organic Geochemistry of Petroleum Systems (MA030466)


Course Memo

The course offers an introduction to the principles and methods of organic geochemistry as applied to conventional and unconventional hydrocarbon systems. The course covers: the basic chemistry and biogeochemical processes involved in the generation and transformation of organic matter to different types of fossil fuels; the depositional environments that lead to the formation of effective source rocks; the use of individual organic compounds (biomarkers) and their isotopes for exploration and development of hydrocarbon deposits. Specific examples, from published literature, of applying biomarker and their stable isotope compositions in petroleum basin studies will be discussed and evaluated. Lectures are supplemented by two seminars, which will allow students to explore the role of organic matter chemical composition and the thermal history of a sedimentary basin on source rock hydrocarbon potential. Two laboratory sessions will give students hands on experience with analytical chemical procedures for organic matter analysis. A distinctive new feature of the course is the discussion of the latest analytical and instrumental techniques for molecular and stable isotope compound-specific characterisation of biomarkers from source rocks and petroleum.