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The AAPG/Datapages Combined Publications Database

AAPG Bulletin


Volume: 64 (1980)

Issue: 6. (June)

First Page: 916

Last Page: 926

Title: Time and Temperature in Petroleum Formation: Application of Lopatin's Method to Petroleum Exploration

Author(s): Douglas W. Waples (2)


N. V. Lopatin in the Soviet Union has developed a method for taking both time and temperature into account as factors in thermal maturation of kerogen. Lopatin's time-temperature index of maturity (TTI) values correlate with the thermal regimes corresponding to generation and preservation of hydrocarbons. Because such information is potentially of great interest for oil exploration, a calibration and evaluation have been made of Lopatin's method. Within the limitations of the data presently available the following statements can be made:

1. The rate of the chemical reactions involved in thermal maturation of organic material appears to double with every 10°C (18°F) rise in temperature.

2. Threshold values of Lopatin's time-temperature index of maturity (TTI) are:

15           Onset of oil generation
75           Peak oil generation
160          End oil generation
~500         40° oil preservation deadline
~1,000       50° oil preservation deadline
~1,500       Wet gas preservation deadline
>65,000    Dry gas preservation deadline

3. TTI values calculated from Lopatin reconstructions consistently agree with other maturation parameters commonly used by petroleum geochemists.

Potential applications of Lopatin's method for oil exploration include timing of oil generation, calculation of volume of hydrocarbons generated within a basin, and determination of economic deadlines.

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