Knowing the quality of hydrocarbons in advance.
The petroleum system is the set of criteria necessary for the formation of a deposit. By reconstructing the history of sedimentary basins and simulating the processes of the generation and migration of hydrocarbons, we can identify the areas of most interest for exploration and any factors that might constitute a risk. Matilde Dalla Rosa, project manager research and development at Eni Exploration, is an expert in the field with a story to tell.
The technologies available for the modelling of the petroleum system have historically been focused on hydrocarbons generated by thermal decomposition of organic matter. But in sedimentary basins, there are processes involving not only hydrocarbons but also non-hydrocarbon components. Examples?
The Gas Systems research project began in 2014 with the goal of extending the instruments currently available for modelling the petroleum system in such a way as to include the mechanisms described above. Our field research enables us to solve exploration issues efficiently.
In sedimentary basins one can encounter overpressure – that is pore pressure greater than the hydrostatic pressure. Accurately predicting the timing and pressure of fluids in the subsoil allows for the proper planning and execution of a well, but there is more to it than that. Other factors that must be taken into account include assessment of the seal of the cover rock, the estimated maximum column of gas or oil contained in a given structure and the identification of the directions of migration of hydrocarbons.