The Secret to Modernising Petroleum Systems

Updated: Jul 11, 2018

By PetroMall Director David Bamford.

Major petroleum provinces of the world are now ‘data rich’; deep knowledge is underpinned by real data, revealing that some academic views on petroleum systems are not good enough. For example, we need to consider the “stretching-Beta-factor” heat flow model, which has underpinned petroleum systems thinking for over 30 years, is actually supported by real data.

Data reveals examples where (geochemically well understood) source rocks have generated huge amounts of gas but we have no idea where the oil is; where most of the oil was modelled as being generated before the reservoirs that now hold it were deposited; where oil was predicted (in large amounts) but gas was found; where it is hard to understand how a major oil province received its oil; and so on and so forth.

The opportunity that exists is to use well data, seismic, and field studies to modernise and correct models of heat flow and subsidence. This is a profound integration undertaking that will bring forward better understanding of petroleum systems – revealing new plays, wider opportunities.

David Bamford is a Director of PetroMall and former Chief Geophysicist at BP.


PetroMall is an energy consultancy dedicated to ensuring the supply of natural resources required is undertaken in a responsible and professional manner across different countries, improving the economics of prospective and existing projects.

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