Kerogen Maturity Determinations: New Techniques and Technologies

Cross disciplinary workflows play an important part of successful characterization of shale reservoirs | Estimated Length : 38 mins

   Watch Promo

Course Content

Cross disciplinary workflows play an important part of successful characterization of shale reservoirs. This course discusses how the artificial kerogen maturity of organic-rich Green River shale affects the petrophysical, micro-structural, geochemical and elastic properties. The shale sample with total organic carbon (TOC) of ~28% is used in the examination. It is then subjected to anhydrous pyrolysis for artificial maturation by cooking the sample at 350°C for three days. You will see evidence of horizontal cracks on the sample which are induced by hydrocarbon generation and expulsion.

We discuss how we measured ultrasonic velocities on the shale plug before and after maturation. A significant change in the P-wave anisotropy (ε) is observed after maturation. We will discuss about the TOC measurements and Rock-eval pyrolysis and how the geochemical properties are affected by kerogen maturation.

This course also shows how to characterize the changes in the internal structure of the source rock through kerogen maturation by using micro-structural techniques such as SEM imaging and micro-CT scanning. SEM images clearly show that a significant amount of porosity is developed in the organic matter during maturation. This porosity is due to conversion of solid kerogen to liquid or gaseous hydrocarbons. Grain density also increased due to the decomposition of lighter kerogen during pyrolysis.

We will discuss methods of kerogen isolation from the rock sample. We also demonstrate the measured elastic properties of an immatured isolated kerogen. The bulk modulus of kerogen is found to be between 4-5 GPa. This course also focuses on the effect of kerogen content and its maturity on seismic velocities and anisotropy for different organic rich shales. We will show you how the seismic anisotropy is affected by different levels of kerogen maturity.

Brief Outline:

Introduction and goals

Example: Green River shale samples, USA

TOC and Rock-eval pyrolysis measurements

Anhydrous pyrolysis for artificial kerogen maturation

Microstructural characterization from SEM and micro-CT scanning

Ultrasonic velocity measurements

Comparison of petrophysical, geochemical, micro-structural and elastic properties before and after maturation

Isolation of kerogen from source rock samples

Elastic properties of isolated kerogen

Examples from different shales on the relationship between seismic anisotropy and levels of kerogen maturity



Who Should Attend

This course is ideal for geologists, geophysicists, petrophysicists, and geochemists involved in shale reservoir exploration and development.


By attending this e-symposium, participants will:

learn the importance of cross-disciplinary workflows in characterizing shale reservoirs

discover how to use micro-structural techniques such as SEM imaging and micro-CT scanning to characterize changes in the internal structure of the course rock through kerogen maturation

compare various rock properties before and after kerogen maturation

Estimated Length

38 minutes of video lectures

Your Instructor


Since its founding in 1917, the American Association of Petroleum Geologists has been a pillar of the worldwide scientific community. The original purpose of AAPG, to foster scientific research, to advance the science of geology, to promote technology, and to inspire high professional conduct, still guides the Association today.

AAPG provides publications, conferences, and educational opportunities to geoscientists and disseminates the most current geological information available to the general public.

As the world's premier professional association for explorationists, AAPG is about the science of petroleum geology.

It's also about the people.

AAPG's membership is made up of more than 40,000 members in 129 countries in the upstream energy industry who collaborate – and compete – to provide the means for humankind to thrive.

AAPG provides the network of communications that allow those professionals to succeed.

We invite you to see who we are, what we are about and to contact us for membership information or details about the many services we provide.

Association website: AAPG

Frequently Asked Questions

When does the course start and finish?
The course starts now and never ends! It is a completely self-paced online course - you decide when you start and when you finish.
How long do I have access to the course?
How does 12 months access sound? After enrolling, you have unlimited access to this course for 12 months - across any and all devices you own.
What if I am unhappy with the course?
We would never want you to be unhappy! If you are unsatisfied with your purchase, contact us in the first 30 days and we will give you a full refund.

Get started now!