Geochemistry in Petroleum Exploration by Douglas Waples

By Douglas Waples

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By Douglas Waples

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Catagenesis and hydrocarbon generation occur concurrently, but they really represent different aspects of the same process. Catagenesis refers to transformations of kerogen molecules, whereas hydrocarbon generation focuses on the smaller product molecules. In this text we shall use the terms somewhat interchangeably, especially when we are discussing both aspects simultaneously. In principle, however, they represent fundamentally different perspectives. This chapter will focus on those changes in the residual kerogen that accompany catagenesis.

All n-alkanes thus have a zigzag shape like our line representation of npentane above. Because of internal rotational and vibrational energies, however, the molecule is not static; rather it twists and writhes in space like an agitated snake. 9 Alpha (111111 ) and beta ( ~) attachments in decalin. A group attached in the alpha position at the ring juncture points away from the viewer; in the beta position it points toward the viewer. 7 Benzene, an aromatic molecule, has a planar structure with bond angles in the ring of 120°.

The detailed chemistry of kerogen formation need not concern us greatly. Diagenesis results mainly in loss of water, carbon dioxide, and ammonia from the original geopolymers (fig. 1). ww ! SMALLER FRAGMENTS 1 w 0 ii: 10 0 '" 0 CONDENSATION, POL YMERIZATION LIFE -----If) u; w Z w . "Q HUMIC SUBSTANCES c .... BIOCHEMICAL AND CHEMICAL DEGRADATION 1 :z: .. 0 MAJOR CONSTITUENTS OF LIVING MATTER III 100 0 10,00 c ll'-METHANE )}o;, LOSS OF CO 2 , H 2 0, NH3 ---(1)--- KEROGEN GAS DEAr CARBON u; W THERMAL MATURATION "....

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