Geochemical Properties

  • Mehdi Ostadhassan
  • Kouqi Liu
  • Chunxiao Li
  • Seyedalireza Khatibi
Part of the SpringerBriefs in Petroleum Geoscience & Engineering book series (BRIEFSPGE)


Shale reservoirs with organic-rich intervals are often characterized by high quantities of kerogen, bitumen and also moveable hydrocarbons. Despite lots of conducted studies to improve understanding of the shale characteristics, kerogen, as one the main constituents of mudrocks, is not thoroughly understood. Understanding organic matter properties in terms of maturity, content, and type are crucial for the development of unconventional reservoirs. Studies also showed the presence of organic matter has a non-negligible effect on hydraulic fracturing operations. In this chapter, organic matter characterization by conventional methods along with a new analytical method known as Raman spectroscopy are discussed.


  1. Aghajanpour A, Fallahzadeh SH, Khatibi S, Hossain MM, Kadkhodaie A (2017) Full waveform acoustic data as an aid in reducing uncertainty of mud window design in the absence of leak-off test. J Nat Gas Sci Eng 45:786–796Google Scholar
  2. Amer M (2009) Raman spectroscopy for soft matter applications. Wiley, USAGoogle Scholar
  3. Behar F, Beaumont V, Penteado HDB (2001) Rock-Eval 6 technology: performances and developments. Oil Gas Sci Technol 56:111–134Google Scholar
  4. Beyssac O, Goffé B, Chopin C, Rouzaud J (2002) Raman spectra of carbonaceous material in metasediments: a new geothermometer. J Metamorph Geol 20:859–871Google Scholar
  5. Beyssac O, Goffé B, Petitet J-P, Froigneux E, Moreau M, Rouzaud JN (2003) On the characterization of disordered and heterogeneous carbonaceous materials by Raman spectroscopy. Spectrochim Acta A 59(10):2267–2276Google Scholar
  6. Bustin R (1996) Mechanisms of graphite formation from kerogen: experimental evidence. In: Fuel and energy abstracts. Elsevier, p 187Google Scholar
  7. Carvajal-Ortiz H, Gentzis T (2015) Critical considerations when assessing hydrocarbon plays using Rock-Eval pyrolysis and organic petrology data: data quality revisited. Int J Coal Geol 152:113–122CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Cesare B, Maineri C (1999) Fluid-present anatexis of metapelites at El Joyazo (SE Spain): constraints from Raman spectroscopy of graphite. Contrib Minerl Petrol 135:41–52CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Chen Y, Zou C, Mastalerz M, Suyun H, Gasaway C, Tao X (2015) Applications of micro-fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR) in the geological sciences—a review. Int J Mol Sci 16(12):30223–30250CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Diessel C, Brothers R, Black P (1978) Coalification and graphitization in high-pressure schists in New Caledonia. Contrib Minerl Petrol 68:63–78CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Dietrich AB (2015) The impact of organic matter on geomechanical properties and elastic anisotropy in the Vaca Muerta shale. PhD dissertation, Colorado School of Mines, Arthur Lakes LibraryGoogle Scholar
  12. Eliyahu M, Emmanuel S, Day-Stirrat RJ, Macaulay CI (2015) Mechanical properties of organic matter in shales mapped at the nanometer scale. Mar Pet Geol 59:294–304CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Emmanuel S, Eliyahu M, Day-Stirrat RJ, Hofmann R, Macaulay CI (2016) Impact of thermal maturation on nano-scale elastic properties of organic matter in shales. Mar Pet Geol 70:175–184CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Espitalie J, Deroo G, Marquis F (1985) Rock-Eval pyrolysis and its applications. Rev De L Institut Fr Du Pet 40:563–579CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Gao Y, Zou Y-R, Liang T, Peng PA (2017) Jump in the structure of type I kerogen revealed from pyrolysis and 13C DP MAS NMR. Org Geochem 112:105–118CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Hackley PC, Araujo CV, Borrego AG, Bouzinos A, Cardott BJ, Cook AC, Eble C, Flores D, Gentzis T, Gonçalves PA (2015) Standardization of reflectance measurements in dispersed organic matter: results of an exercise to improve interlaboratory agreement. Mar Pet Geol 59:22–34CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Huang E-P, Huang E, Yu S-C, Chen Y-H, Lee J-S, Fang J-N (2010) In situ Raman spectroscopy on kerogen at high temperatures and high pressures. Phys Chem Miner 37:593–600CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Hutton A, Bharati S, Robl T (1994) Chemical and petrographic classification of kerogen/macerals. Energy Fuels 8:1478–1488CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Jacob H (1989) Classification, structure, genesis and practical importance of natural solid oil bitumen (“migrabitumen”). Int J Coal Geol 11:65–79CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Jarvie D, Claxton B, Henk B, Breyer J (2001) Oil and shale gas from Barnett shale, Ft. In: Worth basin, TX, poster presented at the AAPG national convention, Denver, COGoogle Scholar
  21. Kelemen S, Fang H (2001) Maturity trends in Raman spectra from kerogen and coal. Energy Fuels 15:653–658Google Scholar
  22. Khatibi S, Ostadhassan M, Tuschel D, Gentzis T, Bubach B, Carvajal-Ortiz H (2018) Raman spectroscopy to study thermal maturity and elastic modulus of kerogen. Int J Coal Geol 185:103–118Google Scholar
  23. Lafargue E, Marquis F, Pillot D (1998) Rock-Eval 6 applications in hydrocarbon exploration, production, and soil contamination studies. Rev De L’Institut Fr Du Pét 53:421–437Google Scholar
  24. Li C, Ostadhassan M, Kong L (2017) Nanochemo-mechanical characterization of organic shale through AFM and EDS. In: 2017 SEG international exposition and annual meeting. Society of Exploration GeophysicistsGoogle Scholar
  25. Marshall CP, Edwards HG, Jehlicka J (2010) Understanding the application of Raman spectroscopy to the detection of traces of life. Astrobiology 10:229–243Google Scholar
  26. Mitra SS (1962) Vibration spectra of solids. In: Solid state physics, vol 13. Academic Press, pp 1–80Google Scholar
  27. Oberlin A, Boulmier J, Villey M (1980) Electron microscopic study of kerogen microtexture. Selected criteria for determining the evolution path and evolution stage of kerogen. In: Kerogen: Insoluble organic matter from sedimentary rocks. Editions Technip, Paris, pp 191–241Google Scholar
  28. Pan J, Meng Z, Hou Q, Ju Y, Cao Y (2013) Coal strength and Young’s modulus related to coal rank, compressional velocity and maceral composition. J Struct Geol 54:129–135CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Peters K (1986) Guidelines for evaluating petroleum source rock using programmed pyrolysis. AAPG Bull 70:318–329Google Scholar
  30. Quirico E, Rouzaud J-N, Bonal L, Montagnac G (2005) Maturation grade of coals as revealed by Raman spectroscopy: progress and problems. Spectrochim Acta Part A Mol Biomol Spectrosc 61:2368–2377CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Reich S, Thomsen C (2004) Raman spectroscopy of graphite. Philos Trans R Soc Lond A Math Phys Eng Sci 362:2271–2288Google Scholar
  32. Rouzaud J, Oberlin A (1989) Structure, microtexture, and optical properties of anthracene and saccharose-based carbons. Carbon 27:517–529CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Sauerer B, Craddock PR, AlJohani MD, Alsamadony KL, Abdallah W (2017) Fast and accurate shale maturity determination by Raman spectroscopy measurement with minimal sample preparation. Int J Coal Geol 173:150–157CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Schenk H, Witte E, Müller P, Schwochau K (1986) Infrared estimates of aliphatic kerogen carbon in sedimentary rocks. Org Geochem 10:1099–1104CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Schito A, Romano C, Corrado S, Grigo D, Poe B (2017) Diagenetic thermal evolution of organic matter by Raman spectroscopy. Org Geochem 106:57–67Google Scholar
  36. Tuschel D (2013) Raman spectroscopy of oil shale. Spectroscopy 28:5Google Scholar
  37. Wang Y, Alsmeyer DC, McCreery RL (1990) Raman spectroscopy of carbon materials: structural basis of observed spectra. Chem Mater 2:557–563Google Scholar
  38. Witte E, Schenk H, Müller P, Schwochau K (1988) Structural modifications of kerogen during natural evolution as derived from 13C CP/MAS NMR, IR spectroscopy and Rock-Eval pyrolysis of Toarcian shales. Org Geochem 13:1039–1044Google Scholar
  39. Wopenka B, Pasteris JD (1993) Structural characterization of kerogens to granulite-facies graphite: applicability of Raman microprobe spectroscopy. Am Mineral 78:533–557Google Scholar
  40. Zargari S, Prasad M, Mba KC, Mattson E (2011) Organic maturity, hydrous pyrolysis, and elastic property in shales. In: Canadian unconventional resources conference. Society of Petroleum EngineersGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Mehdi Ostadhassan
    • 1
  • Kouqi Liu
    • 1
  • Chunxiao Li
    • 1
  • Seyedalireza Khatibi
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Petroleum EngineeringUniversity of North DakotaGrand ForksUSA

Personalised recommendations