WEBINAR: Applied Petroleum Geochemistry - Richard Patience & Joe Curiale

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Please note this webinar will be held in during three seperate 2.5 hour sessions (11:30a.m. - 2:00 p.m. CST) beginning on Thursday, February 14 and concluding on Thursday, February 28. Please reference your ticket for time and login details.


This webinar, Applied Petroleum Geochemistry, is the equalivent of a one-day course in the fundamentals and applications of petroleum geochemistry to exploration, development and production of oil and gas in both conventional and unconventional plays. It will be useful for those with no prior background in geochemistry, and for those who would like a refresher. The emphasis is on understanding the appropriate issues to consider at different points of the value chain, and how to go about addressing them. You will learn the reasons for using this discipline in the exploration phase, throughout appraisal from first discovery to completing field development, and as a troubleshooter and problem-solver once you begin production. You will not learn how to be a geochemist in this class – that takes at least two days!

The course begins with the why (the value-add) and how (the methods) of petroleum geochemistry, and proceeds to applications in all parts of E&P. We conclude with a discussion of new applications and the impact these are already having in the business. All participants are welcome to bring questions about your current projects (and even data, if you wish) for discussion at the appropriate places in the course.

This webinar is designed for geologists, geophysicists and engineers working both conventional and unconventional plays with any level of experience in the industry. No prior experience of geochemistry is expected.


Introduction to Petroleum Geochemical Concepts, Definitions and Areas of Use

The course will commence with an introduction to the presenters, an overview of key concepts (e.g. biogenic vs thermogenic), and definitions of important terms (e.g. what is an asphaltene?) used by petroleum geochemists. We will then give a summary of the areas of usage of petroleum geochemistry within the oil industry, both from a historical and present-day perspective.

An Overview of Sampling and Analytical Methods

This section will discuss i) the goals of a petroleum geochemical program (i.e. the subsurface processes that we are trying to understand), ii) the samples we analyze, iii) how we use those samples to generate the data, which iv) we then interpret in order to understand the subsurface and achieve our goals.

Applications in Exploration

Exploration has long been the principal area of application of petroleum geochemistry, and here we will cover the standard geochemical topics involved with basin and prospect evaluation, such as source rock properties, thermal maturity, biodegradation risk, fluid properties prediction, oil-oil and oil-source rock correlation, and gas data interpretation. Conventional and unconventional play examples will be shown presented.

Applications in Appraisal, Development and Production

This section will discuss key in-reservoir subsurface processes which control fluid properties, and the impact they have on measured fluid properties such as GOR, API gravity or molecular parameters. Understanding these controls during appraisal can help us to identify reservoir characteristics such compartmentalization and compositional grading, amongst others, which impact how reservoirs are most efficiently developed and produced. We will also give examples of how problems which arise during production can be solved using standard petroleum geochemical data.

A Brief Overview of Advanced Techniques

Here we will discuss recently developed geochemical analytical techniques which are not yet a routine part of petroleum geochemical programs, and how they can help us to solve problems not easily addressed by previous methods.


This webinar is presented in three 2.5 hour sessions, one session per week in consecutive weeks.


Drs. Joe Curiale and Richard Patience each have over three decades of experience with multinational integrated oil companies. They developed and presented multiple classes in those companies, and first worked together to develop a course in applied petroleum geochemistry for Unocal, which went on to become Chevron’s in-house geochemistry course. Their experience base includes hundreds of sedimentary basins throughout the world, and encompasses both conventional and unconventional approaches. Joe is a former editor of Organic Geochemistry journal, Richard is past chairman of the European Association of Organic Geochemists, and both are widely published.

Produced for PTTC by PIKA Industries LLC


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