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Computer Aided Exploration: Principles and Examples of Use of Geological and Geochemical Models
Recent progress in computer technology allow now to describe the various geological and geochemical phenomena leading to hydrocarbon accumulation. Various models are presented, dealing with geohistorical reconstruction (backstripping), source-rock characterization (OPTIM), hydrocarbon generation during burial (MATOIL) and hydrocarbon expulsion and migration towards the traps (TEMISPACK).
The combined use of geohistorical reconstruction, source-rock characterization and hydrocarbon generation models allows to produce isomaturation and isogeneration maps and cross-sections where the mature source-rock are displayed.
The knowledge of maturation timing versus trap formation allows to delineate the candidate sources for hydrocarbon (oil and/or gas). Using the TEMISPACK migration model allows then to estimate the migration efficiency from the source to the traps, the migration routes, the pressure regime and the amount of trapped hydrocarbon.
These new tools designed for hydrocarbon exploration are now more and more applied, as in the North Sea basin for instance. They provide a quantitative estimate of the reserves and help in decision-making during exploration. They appear to be applicable at any stage of exploration, but their precision increases when exploration is more advanced.
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