Petroleum Geochemistry

Online Course

Case Studies

unit1 Development of Petroleum Geochemistry
unit2  Origin and Migration of Petroleum
unit3 Habitat of Petroleum -- Sources and Reservoirs
unit4 Applications 

Subject Matter Expert:
Xxxx xx xxx. Ph.D.

Course Design:
Susan Smith Nash, Ph.D.

EDGe Education
The Universiy of Oklahoma

Unit 1: Development of
Petroleum Geochemistry


  • Petroleum Generation
  • Carbon and the Origin of Life
  • Petroleum and Its Products

Required Reading
Hunt, Petroleum Geochemistry
  • Chapters 1--3

Key Concepts
  • Petroleum geochemistry applies chemical principles to the study of the origin, migration, accumulation, and alteration of petroleum and the use of this knowledge in the exploration and recovery of oil and gas.
  • The bulk of the world's petroleum originated from the decomposition of the organic matter deposited in sedimentary basins.
  • Source rocks can be defined as immature, mature, or post-mature for oil and gas generation.
  • Successful exploration depends upon a) existence of a trap (structure, reservoir, seal); b) the accumulation of a petroleum charge (source, maturation, migration to the trap, timing), and 3) preservation of the trapped hydrocarbon (thermal history).
  • Organic facies are mappable subdivisions of stratigraphic units.
  • Petroleum generative depressions are areas where organic-rich source beds are buried at high enough temperatures to generate and expel substantial quantities of petroleum.
  • The three most important events in the early evolution of the biosphere were a) origin of prokaryote organisms; b) origin of green photosynthesis; c) origin of eurkaryotes capable of evolving into higher forms of life.
  • More than 75% of all the world's conventional and heavy oils were generated from Jurassic or Cretaceous source rocks.

  • Petroleum average composition
  • Types and size of petroleum molecules
  • API gravity
  • Types of hydrocarbon molecules:  paraffins, naphthenes, armotatics, lubricating oils, olefins with one or more double bonds.
  • Non-hydrocarbons in petroleum
  • Petroleum waxes
  • Petroleum asphalts
  • Why crude oil becomes heavier and API gravity decreases
  • "light" crude
  • "heavy" crude
  • Condensates and their API gravities
  • Stable isotopes used in petroleum research

Practice Multiple-Choice Test Questions