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Oil and gas are chemicals made just of two

elements: carbon and hydrogen.
The microscopic plants and animals that lived
in the ocean millions of years ago sank to the
bottom of the sea.
Buried deeper and deeper under the surface of
the earth, heat transformed them into
marine carbon methane
H:C ratio
organic dioxide evolved
evolved km
matter 20oC buried

lyation) 1.0

kerogen 60oC 2.0

petroleum 4.0

bitumen 200oC
Conversion of Kerogen

Organic matter: 1%

Kerogen 90%
Bitumen 10%
Defined by solubility:
Organic Matter insoluble in organic solvents because of the
large molecular weight up to several thousand Daltons
Defined by petroleum:
Organic Matter capable of producing petroleum
End result of diagenesis stage during the process of petroleum
formation is conversion of organic matter to kerogen

Extraction method alters kerogen properties:

physical, compositional, and structural!

Can be mixed with other insoluble OM: tar, asphaltene, bitumen

Ingredient for generating kerogen
For kerogen to be generated, organic matter must be present in
Organic matter is accumulated mostly in a dispersed state in
predominantly clay-sized marine deposits
It comprises mainly algae and plants, and some animal matter
However, the type and amount of kerogen generation from organic
matter in a basin depends on:
nature of the organic matter in the sediments
abundance of the organic matter
thermal maturity (degree of cooking by heating) of the
organic matter during burial
nature and type of environment in which the organic matter
Kerogens are composed of a variety of organic
materials, including
vitrinite, and
structure less material.

The types of kerogens present in a rock largely

control the type of hydrocarbons generated in that
rock. Different types of kerogen contain different
amounts of hydrogen relative to carbon and oxygen.
The hydrogen content of kerogen is the controlling
factor for oil vs. gas yields from the primary
hydrocarbon-generating reactions.
Organic matter is divided into:
1. Humic OM: results in the formation of coal & gas.
2.Sapropelic OM: gives rise to liquid & gaseous HCs.

On average, the composition of organic matter in sediment is as follows:

40% Proteins
40% Carbohydrates
10% Lipids
10% Lignin

These materials are supplied by: Trees, Herbaceous plants, Fungi, Algae,
Protozoa, Bacteria, and Faeces

All of these + Time + Temperature + Pressure = KEROGEN


The extreme types of disseminated organic matter

correspond to the class of Kerogen formed.

According to the van Krevelen diagram, kerogens can be

classified based on the ratios of H/C and O/C.

The different classifications include:

Type I kerogen
Type II kerogen
Type III kerogen
Type IV kerogen
Type I kerogen or Liptinite
Rich in lipids particularly aliphatic chains with derivates of oils, fats, &

Derived from algae present in fresh water lakes & lagoons.

Abundant in lacustrine source rocks.

High proportion of H:C ratio (1.6- 1.8) and low O:C ratio (0.06)

Usually with the exception of a few algae (e.g. Botryococcus sp.) most of the
organic matter is unrecognizable. The prolific oil shales of Colorado, Utah,
Wyoming (Green River shales) seem to result from a combination of both
algae and mirobial lipids.

Oil prone; yields high (up to 80%).

Type II kerogen or Exinite
Most prolific global source rocks
Rich in lipid
It is an admixture of
i. Marine material - phytoplanktons , zooplanktons, algae
ii. Terrestrial (plant) material- spores, pollen, and cuticle

Its assemblages dominate in the marine source rocks e.g.

Kimmeridge Clay Fm (NS), Akata Fm (ND)
Intermediate H:C (about 1.3) & intermediate O:C (0.1)
Oil & gas prone; yields 4060%
Sulphur, where present, influences the timing and rate of
maturation of Type II kerogen.
Type III kerogen (or Vitrinite)
Rich in lignin derived from woody land plant debris

The debris occurs abundantly in coals

Low H:C ratio (< 1.0) & high O:C ratio (0.15)

Low yield for oil but gas prone

Low in aliphatic compounds but rich in aromatic compounds

Example of vitrinite-dominated source rocks include the

Carboniferous Coal Measures of the southern North Sea basin
Type IV kerogen (or Inertinite)
High in carbon and very low in hydrogen

Often termed dead-carbon

No effective potential to generate petroleum

Oil Shale

The term OIL SHALE generally refers

to any sedimentary rock that
contains solid bituminous materials
that are released as petroleum like
liquids when the rock is heated in the
chemical process of Pyrolysis.

Also known as THE ROCK THAT

Oil Shale
Formed over millions of years ago by
deposition of debris on lake beds and
sea bottoms
Heat and pressure transformed the
materials into oil shale
What is oil shale?
Traditional and current
Oil shale is rock that mining methods have
contains bituminous been used to extract
materials released as the shale before
a petroleum-like liquid retorting
when heated An alternative but
To obtain oil, shale currently experimental
must be heated to a process referred to as
high temperature (a in situ retorting
process called
retorting) involves heating the
The resultant liquid oil shale while it is still
must then be underground, and
separated and then pumping the
collected resulting liquid to the
General composition of oil shale constitutes inorganic
matrix,bitumen and kerogen.
It does not have a definite geological definition nor a specific
chemical formula, and its seams do not always have discrete
Oil shale contains a lower percentage of organic matter than
In commercial grades of oil shale the ratio of organic matter
to mineral matter lies approximately between 0.75:5 and
The organic matter in oil shale has an atomic ratio of
hydrogen to carbon (H/C) approximately 1.2 to 1.8times
lower than for crude oil and about 1.5 to 3times higher than
for coals.
Oil shale extraction:-

Oil shale can be mined using one of two

methods:underground miningusing the room-and-
pillar method orsurface mining.
After mining, the oil shale is transported to a facility
for retorting, a heating process that separates the oil
fractions of oil shale from the mineral fraction.
Retorting can be done above ground or underground.
Also called On-situ and In-situ respectively.
Oil shale economics
The various attempts to develop oil shale deposits
have succeeded only when the cost of shale-oil
production in a given region comes in below the
price of crude oil or its other substitutes.
According to a survey by RAND corporation, the
cost of producing a barrel of oil at a surface
retorting complex in the United States, would
range betweenUS$7095 . This estimate
considers varying levels of Kerogen quality and
extraction efficiency.
In order to run a profitable operation, the price of
crude oil would need to remain above these levels.
TheUS Department of Energyestimates that
theon-situprocessing would be economic at
sustained average world oil prices aboveUS$54
per barrel andin-situprocessing would be
First, most of it needs to be dug out in strip
mining rather that drilled a process that has high
environmental problems.
Once dug out, it then needs to be heated to 450-
500 Degree C, enriched with hydrogen via steam
before the resulting oil is separated. The residue
is a sludge that needs to be disposed of.
The downsides of all this are that oil shale
production create more than four times as much
greenhouse gases as conventional oil production.
The energy required to extract oil from oil shale is
considerable, and this could result in a low EROEI
(energy returned on energy invested) . Wastes
something like 40% of its initial energy in
Only when crude prices are high does oil shale
production make economic sense feasible. In
theory, it has the potential to make a minor
contribution to the Indian oil requirements, but it
is not expected to be a panacea to our oil-