School of Natural and Environmental Sciences

Organic geochemical applications

Organic geochemical applications in petroleum systems studies

Petroleum accumulations require the occurrence of all components of petroleum systems i.e. source rocks, migration pathways, reservoirs rocks with traps and seals and for these components to have been present at appropriate geological times. Such petroleum systems studies thus require a multidisciplinary geosciences approach including geochemistry.

Project Leader: Dr Martin Jones
Sponsors: PTDF, Libyan Petroleum Institute (LPI)
Start/end dates: 2009-2014

Project Details

Petroleum geochemistry provides information on the thermal maturity and petroleum producing potential of source rocks and also the chemical and isotopic compositions of the generated hydrocarbons useful for oil-oil and oil-source rock correlation studies as well as information on post-generation alteration processes.

Such information is used in integrated petroleum systems studies to produce models allowing better understanding and de-risking of exploration targets. Current areas where this approach is being applied include petroleum systems in Libya and Nigeria.


Samuel, O.J., Cornford, C., Jones, M., Adekeye, O.A., Akande, S.O. (2009) Improved understanding of the petroleum systems of the Niger Delta Basin, Nigeria. Organic Geochemistry, 40, 461-483

Samuel, O.J., Kildahl-Andersen, G., Nytoft, H-P., Johansen, J.E. and Jones, M. (2010) Novel tricyclic and tetracyclic terpanes in Tertiary deltaic oils: Structural identification, origin and application to petroleum correlation. Organic Geochemistry, 41, 1326-1337

Academic Staff

  • Professor Andrew Aplin
  • Dr Martin Jones