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The AAPG/Datapages Combined Publications Database

Montana Geological Society



1997 Bighorn Basin Symposium Guidebook
July, 1997

Pages 21 - 39

Chapter 4: The Thermal Effects of Sedimentation and Compaction on the Maturation of Hydrocarbons in Badger Basin, Wyoming

Nick Visser , Institute for Energy Research University of Wyoming
Henry P. Heasler, Institute for Energy Research University of Wyoming


Modeling hydrocarbon maturation is an essential and cost-effective component to the analysis of the hydrocarbon potential of a sedimentary basin. Models of hydrocarbon maturation in sedimentary basins are highly dependent on thermal history data. Thus, a precise thermal history model is a necessary prerequisite to a usable hydrocarbon maturation model.

This paper presents an application of thermal maturation history and hydrocarbon modeling to Badger Basin, Wyoming. Thermal history models are based on physical theory and are constrained by physical and geologic data. Four different thermal history models with various degrees of complexity are used to constrain the maturation models (transformation ratio and vitrinite reflectance). Results from the thermal and maturation models are compared to measured values. The results show that the thermal effects of sedimentation (and erosion) and compaction are significant for thermal history modeling and, consequently, hydrocarbon maturation modeling. The most precise thermal history model accounts for the time-dependent thermal effects of sedimentation (and erosion) and compaction.

Modeled hydrocarbon maturation data (calculated from most precise thermal history model) are used to delineate zones of oil and gas generation in Badger Basin. The modeled zone of wet gas generation is consistent with sonic and seismic analyses, as well as production data.

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