By G.V. Chilingarian and T.F. Yen (Eds.)

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3-2), which after one year accounted for one third of the nongaseous organic matter. Although these observations strongly suggest a relationship between asphaltenes and pyrobitumen, generation of the latter obviously involves the other components as well, as documented by their fluctuating percentages. Aquitaine asphalt a t 300°C (Table 3-VI) Compared with the unaltered Aquitaine crude, the biodegraded Aquitaine asphalt definitely showed a different diagenetic-alteration picture during the first six-week period.

Asphaltene) fraction [ 191. 65 range (Table 3-I), these asphalts presumably originate from immature to moderately mature oils. Concept of artificial maturation Organic diagenesis expresses the inescapable trend of sedimentary organic matter towards its chemical equilibrium. It involves large numbers of chemi- 32 cal reactions, the rates of which are temperature dependent. The exceedingly slow process of diagenetic evolution a t normal temperatures will be, therefore, considerably speeded up a t higher temperatures, a statement which has been frequently confirmed by the analysis of organic matter with increasing depth [20,21,22].

22 residues of relatively mature petroleums and are not the products of an early or immature stage of oil generation. A prominent characteristic of heavy oils is their very high viscosity or immobility, which prevents them from being recovered by the conventional production methods used to produce the more fluid (medium to high API gravity) oils encountered at greater depths. Petroleum viscosity, however, is a function of its composition. This is indicated by the data presented in Table 2-11, which ,represents measurements on distillation fractions of about 130 crude oils from worldwide localities.

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