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Geological models for petroleum generation suggest thermal conversion of oil-prone sedimentary organic matter in the presence of water promotes increased liquid saturate yield, whereas absence of water causes formation of an aromatic, cross-linked solid bitumen residue. To test the influence of exchangeable hydrogen from water, organic-rich (22 wt.% total organic carbon, TOC) mudrock samples from the Eocene lacustrine Green River Mahogany zone oil shale were pyrolyzed under hydrous and anhydrous conditions at temperatures between 300 and 370°C for 72 hrs. Petrographic approaches including optical microscopy, reflectance, Raman spectroscopy, and scanning electron and transmission electron microscopy, supplemented...
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Research examining organic-matter hosted porosity has significantly increased during the last ten years due to greater focus on understanding hydrocarbon migration and storage in source-rock reservoirs, and technological advances in scanning electron microscopy (SEM) capabilities. The examination of nanometer-scale organic-matter hosted porosity by SEM requires the preparation of exceptionally flat geologic samples beyond the abilities of traditional mechanical polishing which can deform or otherwise obscure organic surfaces. To meet this demand, broad ion beam (BIB) milling was introduced as a sample preparation technique for SEM petrographic analysis of geologic samples. But like with any sample preparation technique,...
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As part of a larger study, organic petrographic features of Leonardian Wolfcamp A repetitive siliceous and calcareous mudrock and fine-grained carbonate lithofacies cycles occurring in the R. Ricker #1 core from Reagan County, Midland Basin, Texas were evaluated. The objectives of the petrographic investigation were to estimate thermal maturity, identify organic matter types and abundances, and identify the presence or absence of migrated hydrocarbons. An integrated analytical program included geochemical screening [total organic carbon (TOC) content by LECO, programmed pyrolysis by HAWK, including from solvent-extracted samples], X-ray diffraction mineralogy, organic petrography, SEM-EDS including correlative light...
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The most commonly used parameter for thermal maturity calibration in basin modelling is mean random vitrinite reflectance (Ro). However, Ro suppression, or lower than expected Ro, has been noted in samples containing a high proportion of liptinite macerals. This has been empirically demonstrated using hydrous pyrolysis experiments of artificial source rock containing various proportions of thermally immature Wyodak-Anderson coal and liptinite-rich kerogen from the Parachute Creek Member of the Green River Formation. Analysis of samples pyrolyzed at 330°C for 72 h demonstrates that the Ro values of both vitrinite and solid bitumen are suppressed, where the degree of suppression increases with increasing amounts of...