80th EAGE Conference & Exhibition 2018

Opportunities presented by the energy transition

11 - 14 June
Copenhagen, Denmark
Call for papers

Advanced Geochemical Technologies: A Revolution in Organic Geochemistry


Sunday 10 June 2018

Title: Advanced Geochemical Technologies: A Revolution in Organic Geochemistry
Room: F
Convenors: J. Moldowan (Stanford University)
J. Dahl (Stanford University)

Why attend this workshop?

Exploration is all about creating prospects that can yield new discoveries. While older geochemical technologies such as isotopes of oils and oil fractions and biomarkers are extremely useful, they have already been applied to most of the basins in the world and therefore, are unlikely to yield many new exploration ideas. In this workshop you will be introduced to new organic geochemical techniques that can provide crucial information that was previously unobtainable. These methods can be used to get a totally new picture of the petroleum systems in mature basins and will allow for the creation of more accurate basin models. These will in turn allow for the recognition of new plays and drilling targets.

Workshop description

Examples of applications of these revolutionary technologies to both conventional and unconventional petroleum systems will be presented. The focus will be on three topics:

(1) Diamondoids, which are used for determining the maturity of any oil sample in both conventional and unconventional applications and for correlating co-sourced oil mixtures of any maturity (e.g., from black oil to condensate). Correlation is accomplished by compound specific isotope analysis (CSIA) of the segregated diamondoids and by fingerprinting arrays of the large diamondoid molecules: triamantane, three tetramantanes, four pentamantanes and cyclohexamantane.
(2) CSIA (isotopes) of biomarkers, which together with diamondoid correlation, is useful for source determination and unraveling co-sourced oil mixtures, and
(3) Age-related biomarkers for constraining the geologic age of an oil sample to determine its possible source, the foundation of any basin model.

workshop 6







Workshop Programme

09:00 Brief introduction: Organic matter production, accumulation, preservation, maturation, and how molecular organic geochemistry provides essential information on oil and gas provenance
10:00 The ins and outs of age-related and taxon-specific biomarkers
10:30 Coffee break
10:45 The ins and outs of age-related and taxon-specific biomarkers (continued)
12:30 Lunch break
13:30 Compound specific isotope analysis of biomarkers
14:00 Introduction to diamondoids - application as maturity indicators
15:15 Coffee break 
15:30 Use of diamondoids for source correlation of all thermal hydrocarbon fluids
16:00 Application of diamondoids in unconventional exploration and production
17:00 Closing 

Who should attend this workshop?

● Exploration and production geoscientists and engineers who wish to understand what impact the recent advances in molecular geochemistry can have on E&P projects.
● Basin modelers who wish to apply new technologies that help to reveal the complete petroleum system.
● Exploration managers who wish to stay abreast of available geochemical methods to reduce exploration risks.

Recommended reading
Dahl, J. E., Moldowan, J. M., Peters, et.al. (1999) Diamondoid hydrocarbons as indicators of natural oil cracking. Nature 399, pp 54-57. (available by email upon request)
Moldowan, J. M., Jacobson, S.R. (2000) Chemical Signals for Early Evolution of Major Taxa. Biosignatures and Taxon Specific Biomarkers. International Geology Review 42, 805-812. (available by email upon request)
Moldowan, J.M., Dahl, J., Zinniker, D., Barbanti, S.M. (2015) Underutilized advanced geochemical technologies for oil and gas exploration and production-1. The diamondoids. Journal of Petroleum Science and Engineering 126, 87-96. (available by email upon request)
K. E. Peters, C. M. Walters and J. M. Moldowan, “The Biomarker Guide, 2nd Edition, Parts I & 2”, Cambridge University Press, 1155 pages. (See pages 157-162, 148-152, 490-492)

About the convenors 

Professor Moldowan obtained a Ph.D. degree in Chemistry in 1972 from The University of Michigan. He became an early member and eventual leader of the Chevron biomarker team from 1974 to 1993, which conducted major pioneering efforts to establish the application of biological marker technology to petroleum exploration. Dr. Moldowan joined the Department of Geological Sciences at Stanford University as Professor (Research) in 1993, where he conducted research and taught courses on molecular geochemistry related to petroleum exploration and production, while advising numerous graduate students on their Ph.D. thesis research. In 2012 he founded the laboratory enterprise, Biomarker Technologies, Inc., which offers unique applications of advanced geochemical technologies to industry. He has served as Chair of the Division of Geochemistry of the American Chemical Society, twice been awarded “The Best Paper Award” by the Organic Geochemical Division of the Geochemical Society for publications in organic geochemistry, and published more than 100 articles on geochemistry, including two editions of “The Biomarker Guide” in 1993 and 2005. In 2011, Professor Moldowan received the Treib’s Medal, considered the ultimate career award for Organic Geochemistry.

Jeremy Dahl obtained a Ph.D. degree in Geology from UCLA in 1985. He worked at Chevron Research as a geochemist from 1985 to 1992. From this time to the present he has been a Research Associate at Stanford University, first in the Earth Science and later in the Stanford Institute for Material and Energy Sciences (SIMES) while actively consulting for the oil and gas industry. He has over 100 publications in top scientific journals and over 30 granted U.S. patents. His main research interests include developing new geochemical techniques based on diamondoids.