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There are 2 approaches to petroleum prospecting with organic geochemistry. The essential problems with direct methods are the process and the importance of migration to surface and the occurrence of hydrocarbons of superficial origin. Indirect methods are based on the knowledge of the laws of (1) distribution of organic matter as a function of paleogeographic and paleoclimatic conditions; (2) transformation of organic matter into petroleum under temperature and pressure conditions, as shown by laboratory analysis and experiments on samples from sedimentary basins; and (3) migration of petroleum from the source rocks to the reservoir and eventually alteration caused by temperature, pressure, and underground waters.
The foregoing knowledge may be applied to determine areas favorable to the transformation of organic matter into oil and/or gas and the time of formation of petroleum, compared with the time of sedimentary or structural trap formation.
These results may be obtained more particularly by mathematical models processed on computers.
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