This study compares kinetic parameters determined by open-system pyrolysis and hydrous pyrolysis using aliquots of source rocks containing different kerogen types. Kinetic parameters derived from these two pyrolysis methods not only differ in the conditions employed and products generated, but also in the derivation of the kinetic parameters (i.e., isothermal linear regression and non-isothermal nonlinear regression). Results of this comparative study show that there is no correlation between kinetic parameters derived from hydrous pyrolysis and open-system pyrolysis. Hydrous-pyrolysis kinetic parameters determine narrow oil windows that occur over a wide range of temperatures and depths depending in part on the organic-sulfur content of the original kerogen. Conversely, open-system kinetic parameters determine broad oil windows that show no significant differences with kerogen types or their organic-sulfur contents. Comparisons of the kinetic parameters in a hypothetical thermal-burial history (2.5 ??C/my) show open-system kinetic parameters significantly underestimate the extent and timing of oil generation for Type-US kerogen and significantly overestimate the extent and timing of petroleum formation for Type-I kerogen compared to hydrous pyrolysis kinetic parameters. These hypothetical differences determined by the kinetic parameters are supported by natural thermal-burial histories for the Naokelekan source rock (Type-IIS kerogen) in the Zagros basin of Iraq and for the Green River Formation (Type-I kerogen) in the Uinta basin of Utah. Differences in extent and timing of oil generation determined by open-system pyrolysis and hydrous pyrolysis can be attributed to the former not adequately simulating natural oil generation conditions, products, and mechanisms.
Additional publication details
Comparison of petroleum generation kinetics by isothermal hydrous and nonisothermal open-system pyrolysis