EGI Petroleum Geochemistry Laboratory Advances Research

EGI has invested in added capabilities for the Petroleum Geochemistry Laboratory. In addition to the HAWKTM Analyzer capable of providing S1, S2, S3, and TOC data as well as Tmax information, EGI has now acquired Parr Pressure Vessels to conduct laboratory hydrous pyrolysis investigations on shales.

Hydrous Pyrolysis pressure equipment aids in evaluating petroleum generation in unconventional and other reservoirs. This advanced investigation technique contributes to fundamental and applied research in several fields of geoscience and engineering and serves to unite labs and research groups through the integration of the oil and gas exploration-production-refining lifecycle.

Hydrous Pyrolysis Parr Pressure Vessels

Specifically, Hydrous Pyrolysis refers to the thermal decomposition that takes place when organic compounds are heated to high temperatures in the presence of water. Thus, the generation and expulsion of oil from organic sedimentary rocks can be achieved in the laboratory by this technique that maintains a liquid water phase in contact with organic containing rock samples during heating. Hydrous pyrolysis provides a laboratory means of acquiring information relating to stages, kinetics, and indices of petroleum generation, integral to the study and characterization of of petroleum systems.

The petroleum obtained by artificial maturation of the source rock through hydrous pyrolysis can provide valuable information about the petroleum in-situ — information greatly used both in academia and industry in the study of petroleum systems. This process for extracting petroleum from the source rock also provides good insight into pressure-volume-temperature (PVT) properties of the reservoir fluid. With these techniques, newly conceived and developed in-house at EGI, to characterize the oil within the rock along with the addition of Hydrous Pyrolysis, we at EGI can now perform a life time source to oil and oil to gas analysis in time and space. Critically, these analyses can be conducted quickly and efficiently and are available exclusively to EGI member companies.

For more information about these enhanced tools and techniques available at EGI, please contact David Thul, Manager of Petroleum Systems & Geochemistry, at

Evolved oils that can be analyzed using GC and GC-MS for better oil-source correlation and engineering parameter quantification.