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AAPG Bulletin, V.
Biodegradation and mixing of crude oils in Eocene Es3 reservoirs of the Liaohe basin, northeastern China
1NRG in Fossil Fuels and Environmental Geochemistry, University of Newcastle-upon-Tyne, Drummond Building, Newcastle-upon-Tyne NE1 7RU, United Kingdom; current address: Netherlands Institute of Applied Geoscience TNO, P.O. Box 80015, 3508 TA Utrecht, Netherlands; email: [email protected]
2NRG in Fossil Fuels and Environmental Geochemistry, University of Newcastle-upon-Tyne, Drummond Building, Newcastle-upon-Tyne NE1 7RU, United Kingdom; email: [email protected]
3Jianghan Petroleum University, Geochemistry Research Centre, Jingzhou, Hubei 434102, People's Republic of China
4Jianghan Petroleum University, Geochemistry Research Centre, Jingzhou, Hubei 434102, People's Republic of China
5Liaohe Petroleum Exploration Bureau, Panjin, Liaoning 124010, People's Republic of China
6Liaohe Petroleum Exploration Bureau, Panjin, Liaoning 124010, People's Republic of China
Martin Koopmans graduated in chemistry in 1991 (Vrije Universiteit, Amsterdam) and obtained a Ph.D. in earth sciences in 1997 (Universiteit Utrecht). He worked as a postdoctoral researcher in England and Norway on several petroleum geochemical projects. This article is a result of his work on heavy oils in the Liaohe basin carried out at the University of Newcastle-upon-Tyne. He is currently with the Netherlands Institute of Applied Geoscience TNO.
Steve Larter has been a professor of geology at the University of Newcastle since 1989. Steve was educated at Cambridge and Newcastle before spending eight years with UNOCAL in Brea, California and three years in Oslo (Institute for Geology). His current research interests include studies of the deep biosphere and predrilling prediction of fluid properties in potentially biodegraded reservoirs, evaluation of petroleum flow mechanisms through seals, and sustainable hydrogen production from oil fields.
Chunming Zhang graduated from the Jianghan Petroleum University and received an M.S. degree in organic geochemistry in 1991. He is currently a Ph.D. candidate at the China University of Geoscience in Beijing. His current areas of interest include biogeochemistry of petroleum within reservoirs and using geochemical methods to assist in reservoir development.
Bowen Mei graduated from the Geology Department of Beijing University in 1965 and received an M.S. degree from the Institute of Geochemistry in the Chinese Academy of Science in 1969. Currently he is a professor at Jianghan Petroleum University and an advisor for Ph.D. candidates. He has been studying reservoir geochemistry since 1989, and his current interests include geomicrobiology and geobiotechnology. He has published four books and more than 40 articles in scientific journals.
Tiesun Wu graduated from the Geology Department of Beijing University in 1965. He worked in the Daqiang oil fields after his graduation, and since 1967 he has worked at the Institute of Liaohe Petroleum Exploration and Development, where he has been the chief geologist since 1992. He received the CNPC's Outstanding Contributor to the Achievement of Sciences Award in 1992. He has published two books and many articles in scientific journals.
Yixian Chen graduated from the Geochemistry Department of China University of Science and Technology in 1964. After graduation, he worked in the Dagang oil fields. Since 1970 he has been working at the Liaohe Petroleum Exploration and Development Bureau, where he has been chief geologist since 1996. He received the CNPC's Outstanding Contributor to the Achievement of Sciences Award in 1992. He has published three books and more than 30 articles in scientific journals.
Mei Chen, K. Noke, T. Whitfield, and P. Donohoe are thanked for assistance with sampling and analytical work. C. Jeans is thanked for assistance with preparation of the graphics. Li Maowen and Haiping Huang are thanked for useful discussions. B. Katz, D. Schumacher, and R. Kaufman are gratefully acknowledged for constructive comments on an earlier version of the article. Liaohe Petroleum Exploration Bureau is thanked for permission to publish.
A suite of heavy oils from a single Eocene sandstone reservoir section in the Liaohe basin (northeastern China) was analyzed to study the geological controls on oil viscosity, which spans a range of almost three orders of magnitude. The heaviest oils are biodegraded, as determined from the absence of n-alkanes and the low relative amount of isoprenoid alkanes. The large variation in viscosity can be explained by mixing, to various extents, of heavy biodegraded oils with less degraded oils. This is supported by a simple mixing model, which reproduces the observed data excellently. The model may assist in predicting the viscosity of reservoired oils before production by analyzing reservoir core extracts prior to deciding which intervals to steamflood.
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