Applications of steranes, terpanes and monoaromatics to the maturation, migration and source of crude oils
Novel biological marker parameters are applied to problems of geochemical correlation of crude oils in the McKittrick Field, California. An attempt is described to distinguish four diagenetic parameters; namely, source input, source maturation, migration and 'in reservoir' maturation. The tools include the absolute concentration of steranes, terpanes and paraffins ( n + iso) in combination with internal ratios of individual biomarkers such as primary/secondary terpanes, 17α(H)-trisnorhopane/18α(H)-trisnorhopane II (both maturation specific), 5β/5α-steranes, 5β-steranes/17α(H)-hopanes and rearranged steranes/5α-steranes (all migration oriented), 5α/5α-steranes and a number of terpane ratios of partially unknown chemical structure (source input specific). Among other new correlation parameters are: two series of mass chromatograms (m/e 253 and 239), signaling monoaromatized steranes, a series of presumably rearranged steranes (m/e 259), and a series of methylhopanes (m/e 205). The results obtained on the molecular level exceed the degree of information obtainable from organic geochemical 'bulk' parameters such as yields of saturates, aromatics, sulfur compounds and C 13/C 12 ratios by far; however, both types of parameters are mutually supporting. All conclusions are consistent with subtle stratigraphie and overall geologic prerequisites.