Condensation Mechanism of Hydrocarbon Field Formation

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Petroleum geology explains how hydrocarbon fluids are generated, but there is a lack of understanding regarding how oil is expelled from source rocks and migrates to a reservoir. To clarify the process, the multi-layer Urengoy field in Western Siberia was investigated. Based on this example, we have identified an alternative mechanism of hydrocarbon field formation, in which oil and gas accumulations result from the phase separation of an upward hydrocarbon flow. There is evidence that the flow is generated by the gases released by secondary kerogen destruction. This study demonstrates that oil components are carried by the gas flow and that when the flow reaches a low-pressure zone, it condenses into a liquid with real oil properties. The transportation of oil components in the gas flow provides a natural explanation for the unresolved issues of petroleum geology concerning the migration process. The condensation mechanism can be considered as the main process of oil field formation.

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