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ACE SC 07 | Advanced Geochemical Technologies: Methods That Reveal the Rest of Your Petroleum System

American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)

Saturday, 1 April – Sunday, 2 April 2017, 8:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m.  |  Houston, Texas, United States

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Who Should Attend

Exploration and Production Geologists, Geophysicists, Engineers, Basin Modelers, Geochemists, Chemists, Freshmen Petroleum Geochemists, Exploration Managers


Those geologists, beginning geochemists and other geoscientists who have been struggling to get started with biomarker understanding, applications and interpretation based on other courses and by self-directed use of “The Biomarker Guide” will benefit by solidifying their foundations in the basic knowledge of the science and by real interpretive exercises reviewed in class based on a world-wide selection of biomarker analysis examples.

The course will continue to advance from basics to deeper understanding and new technologies and methods, such as diamondoids and compound specific isotope analysis.

These new developments have been underutilized (and sometimes misunderstood and misused) compared to the wealth of new understanding they can bring forth when applied to petroleum system analysis and modeling. Participants will take away new skills for identifying where deep sources occur and for determining their provenance from analysis of any liquids.

Technology for determining co-sourced oil mixtures, and the latest techniques for constraining the age of an oil source from analysis of an oil sample (age-related biomarkers) will be thoroughly covered. These are techniques that can be applied in both conventional and unconventional exploration and production.

In the unconventional realm maturity assessment by quantitative diamondoid analysis has become particularly useful when vitrinite reflectance or programmed pyrolysis fail to produce confident results and/or to determine when fluid migration might have occurred, but data quality can be the critical factor for determining whether diamondoid data are useful.

Course Content

The course content will cover both the basics of biomarker interpretation and application and advanced geochemical technologies.

The basics:

  1. Introduction to the “language” used to describe and name biomarkers and how differences in biomarker structures affect their interpretation — and — the fundamentals of biomarker analysis.
  2. Biomarker fingerprint interpretation for terpanes, steranes and other compounds. This will include interpretation of various m/z 191 chromatograms and role of GC-MS-MS including the theories behind biomarker parameters and their interpretation.
  3. Introduction to the other biomarkers that are not hopanes and steranes, but can have a major impact on correlation assessment and determination of source rock depositional environment.

Advanced geochemical technologies:

  1. Diamondoids. The uses of quantitative diamondoid analysis (QDA), how it is performed and advantages and pitfalls of the method will be discussed. QDA is used for determining maturity of post-mature fluids (> 1.0 % Ro) in both conventional and unconventional applications. Diamondoid correlation methods for recognizing co-sourced oil mixtures and correlating liquids of any maturity (e.g., black oil to white oil) and even those liquids affected by severe biodegradation, are now routinely applied.
  2. Compound specific isotope analysis (CSIA). CSIA is applied to different compound classes including diamondoids, alkanes, and biomarkers such as steranes, hopanes, isoprenoids and tricyclic terpanes, to determine source and depositional environment. CSIA of biomarkers, together with various diamondoid analyses, is particularly useful for unraveling co-sourced oil mixtures.
  3. Age-related biomarkers. Selected taxon-specific biomarkers useful for constraining the geologic age of an oil source from the analysis of a derived oil sample will be discussed, including the techniques necessary for such analyses and examples of applications and the pitfalls encountered during those applications.
  4. A lecture on application of molecular geochemistry to unconventional exploration and production will be included.


Professionals: $650.00

Students: $150.00

Limit: 50 people

Includes: Course notes (USB drive) and refreshments

You will need a laptop for this course. Some materials for background easy-reference information and some in-class exercises will be printed as hand-outs. Prior access to Peters et al., (2005) “The Biomarker Guide, Volumes 1 and 2” is desirable as background reading, but is not critical for understanding and assimilating the course content.


Please visit Where to Stay to book your accommodations for ACE.


George R. Brown Convention Center
George R. Brown Convention Center
1001 Avenida De Las Americas
Houston Texas 77010
United States
01 April, 2017 02 April, 2017 ACE SC 07 | Advanced Geochemical Technologies: Methods That Reveal the Rest of Your Petroleum System /Portals/0/PackFlashItemImages/WebReady/Oil-and-Gas-Analysis-Discussion-Group-hero.jpg?width=750&height=314&quality=90&mode=crop&encoder=freeimage&progressive=true George R. Brown Convention Center George R. Brown Convention Center 8:00 AM 5:00 PM


AAPG Instructor  
Biomarker Technologies, Inc., Rohnert Park, California; Professor (Emeritus), (Department Geological Sciences, Stanford University)
AAPG Instructor  
Stanford University Laboratory for Materials and Energy Science

Important Notes Regarding Short Courses

  • Short courses are limited in size and are reserved on a first-come, first-served basis and must be accompanied by full payment.
  • If you do not plan on attending the convention, a US $30 enrollment fee will be added to the short course fee. This fee may be applied toward registration if you decide to attend the convention at a later date.
  • A wait list is automatically created if a short course sells out. The AAPG Convention Department will notify you if space becomes available.
  • Before purchasing non-refundable airline tickets, confirm that the course will take place, as courses may be canceled if under-subscribed.
  • Please register well before 23 February. Short course cancellation due to low enrollment will be considered at this time. No refunds will be allowed on short courses after this date.
  • We will continue to take registrations for short courses not canceled, either until they are sold out or closed.


There are a limited number of discounted registrations available for students on a first-come, first-served basis. If a discounted space is still available, it will show up during the online registration process. If discounted spots are no longer available, you may register at the full fee; if we are able to add additional discounted spots we will refund the difference at that time.

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Questions? Please contact:
Theresa Curry
Meeting Planner
+1 918 560 2683
Amy Mahan
Events Coordinator
+1 918 560-9431