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The basin model discussed in this paper describes the physical and chemical phenomena that control the formation of commercial accumulations of hydrocarbons in the moving framework of a subsiding sedimentary basin: heat transfer, compaction and water flow, hydrocarbon generation, and two-phase migration of fluids.
The model reproduces the influence of conductivity variations and of transient heat transfer on paleotemperatures. Quantitative verification of the paleotemperature reconstruction and of the kinetic model of hydrocarbon generation may be obtained from present temperatures and geochemical data. Compaction-driven flows and overpressures are described by coupling a compaction law with Darcy's law for water flow and a criterion for natural hydraulic fracturing. This formulation allows modeling of overpressures in young deltaic sequences (e.g., the Mahakam delta, Indonesia) as well as in old rift basins (e.g., the North Sea). An adapted two-phase Darcy's law reproduces primary and secondary migration. In particular, the model helps investigate the role of overpressures and fault behavior o hydrocarbon migration and entrapment.
Our results confirm that basin models contribute to the synthesis of geological, geophysical, and geochemical data consistently. By defining parameters for petroleum evaluations, these models increase exploration efficiency.
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