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The AAPG/Datapages Combined Publications Database

Journal of Petroleum Geology


Journal of Petroleum Geology, vol.26 (1), January 2003, pp 65-94
Copyright © 2003 by Scientific Press Ltd. All rights reserved.


R. A. McTavish*

In early electron spin resonance (ESR) analysis of North Sea wells, Previous HitmaturationNext Hit of organic matter (OM) was expressed in terms of maximum palaeotemperature (MPT) based on North American calibrations that did not consider the influences of kerogen composition or overpressure. In the North Sea, the MPTs were anomalous in overpressured sequences and relative to other indices of OM Previous HitmaturationNext Hit such as vitrinite reflectance, so the ESR method was abandoned there in geochemical studies. However, early empirical study of North Sea ESR data indicated that, in relation to functions that linked temperature and pore pressure, some ESR parameters were predictable without reference to MPTs.

In order to re-evaluate ESR parameters as indices of OM Previous HitmaturationNext Hit, the physical factors (temperature and pressure) which affect OM Previous HitmaturationNext Hit are related in the present paper to the ESR parameters “g” (spectral position) and Ng (spin density) at six well locations in the northern North Sea. A third ESR parameter, W (line width), is not an effective guide to Previous HitmaturationNext Hit levels due to its complex relationship to the physical factors and kerogen types. However, cross-plots of W versus “g” and Ng appear to be as effective as pyrolysis for kerogen typing. Levels of Previous HitmaturationNext Hit investigated in the North Sea wells range through the equivalent vitrinite reflectance values of about 0.50-1.50%. The values of “g” and Ng have been differentiated for kerogen type, but undifferentiated values of “g” have also been studied.

Regression analysis has shown that there are linear relationships between the ESR parameters “g” and Ng, and the physical factors present-day temperature (To), “effective” temperature (Te), and differential pressure (Pd). Correlation coefficients for both “g”(undifferentiated and differentiated) and Ng (differentiated) relative to the physical factors are high; the highest values are for “g” and Ng relative to Te and Pd (r = -0.950 for “g”differentiated or undifferentiated, r = 0.944-0.976 for Ng differentiated, respectively ). However, correlation coefficients were lower for “g” and Ng relative to To.

More frequent high correlation coefficients and larger sample populations suggest that “g” (undifferentiated) is a more reliable index of OM Previous HitmaturationNext Hit than Ng(differentiated) . However, the estimation of levels of OM Previous HitmaturationNext Hit is improved if both indices are used together.

The ESR method appears to be effective both for estimating levels of OM Previous HitmaturationNext Hit and for kerogen typing. It has a number of potential advantages over other geochemical

* 9, Braefoot Grove, Dalgety Bay, Fife KY11 9YS. email: [email protected]

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methods: firstly, it is more sensitive for estimating OM Previous HitmaturationTop than most other methods; secondly, it can be used to analyze organic matter which is as old as Proterozoic; thirdly, it does not destroy the samples analyzed.

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