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  • Published : April 8, 2013
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Chapter 3

Petroleum Systems
by Leslie B. Magoon and Edward A. Beaumont

Leslie B. Magoon
Leslie B. Magoon graduated from the University of Oregon in Eugene in 1966 with an M.S. degree in geology. Presently, he is a senior research geologist with the U.S. Geological Survey, Menlo Park, California. Prior to that he was with Shell Oil Company for 8 years as an exploration geologist. Over the last 32 years, he has been involved in petroleum geology with emphasis on geochemistry in the Rocky Mountain states, California, Alaska, Colombia, and Malaysia. He has numerous publications on the geology and geochemistry of petroleum provinces in Alaska, the Cook Inlet–Alaska Peninsula, and the North Slope. For the last 15 years he has devoted much of his time to developing and presenting the petroleum system. From 1990–1991, he was an AAPG Distinguished Lecturer. At the 1996 AAPG Annual meeting, Magoon and W.G. Dow, as coeditors, received the R.H. Dott, Sr., Memorial Award for AAPG Memoir 60, The Petroleum System—From Source to Trap.

Edward A. Beaumont
Edward A. (Ted) Beaumont is an independent petroleum geologist from Tulsa, Oklahoma. He holds a BS in geology from the University of New Mexico and an MS in geology from the University of Kansas. Currently, he is generating drilling prospects in Texas, Oklahoma, and the Rocky Mountains. His previous professional experience was as a sedimentologist in basin analysis with Cities Service Oil Company and as Science Director for AAPG. Ted is coeditor of the Treatise of Petroleum Geology. He has lectured on creative exploration techniques in the U.S., China, and Australia and has received the Distinguished Service Award and Award of Special Recognition from AAPG.

Overview
Introduction This chapter discusses the concept and use of petroleum systems. It describes what petroleum systems are and how they can be identified and mapped. This chapter contains the following sections. Section A B C D Topic Defining a Petroleum System Examples of Two Petroleum Systems Applying the Petroleum System Concept References Page 3–4 3–14 3–24 3–34

In this chapter

Overview • 3-3

Section A

Defining a Petroleum System
Introduction The first step in petroleum system analysis is petroleum system definition. This section discusses what the concept of a petroleum system is; how to identify and name a system; how the components relate geographically, stratigraphically, and temporally; and how to map a petroleum system.

In this section

This section contains the following topics. Topic The Petroleum System Concept Identifying a Petroleum System Naming a Petroleum System Geographic, Stratigraphic, and Temporal Extent Size of a Petroleum System Mapping a Petroleum System Page 3–5 3–6 3–7 3–9 3–12 3–13

3-4

• Petroleum Systems

The Petroleum System Concept
Introduction The petroleum system is a unifying concept that encompasses all of the disparate elements and processes of petroleum geology. Practical application of petroleum systems can be used in exploration, resource evaluation, and research. This chapter discusses its application to petroleum exploration. A petroleum system encompasses a pod of active source rock and all genetically related oil and gas accumulations. It includes all the geologic elements and processes that are essential if an oil and gas accumulation is to exist. Petroleum describes a compound that includes high concentrations of any of the following substances: • Thermal and biological hydrocarbon gas found in conventional reservoirs as well as in gas hydrates, tight reservoirs, fractured shale, and coal • Condensates • Crude oils • Natural bitumen in reservoirs, generally in siliciclastic and carbonate rocks System describes the interdependent elements and processes that form the functional unit that creates hydrocarbon accumulations. Elements and processes The essential elements of a petroleum system include the following: • Source rock • Reservoir rock •...
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