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Indian Institute of Science Education and Research Bhopal

Earth and Environmental Sciences

EES 324/325: Geology of Fuels (4)

Prerequisites (Desirable): All EES 100 and 200 level courses

Learning Objectives:

Mineral and fossil fuels constitute an essential resource for energy production. This course endeavors to introduce students to various aspects of these resources such as the nature, distribution, occurrence, genesis, and the reserves in India. In the case of petroleum, the aspects covering reservoir rocks, migration, trapping mechanisms and plate tectonic associations will be discussed. Additionally, non-conventional hydrocarbons such as gas hydrates and their potential will be introduced. In coal geology some aspects of organic petrology will be covered. Further the potential for coal-bed methane will also be discussed. Lastly, the methods of exploration for atomic minerals will be introduced here.

Course Contents:

Petroleum Geology:
Petroleum - Its different states of natural occurrence, chemical composition and physical properties of crude in nature, origin of petroleum, maturation of kerogen; Biogenic and thermal effect; Reservoir rocks - General attributes and petrophysical properties; Classification of reservoir rocks - fragmental reservoir rocks and chemical reservoir rocks; Concept of flow unit; Migration of oil and gas - Geologic framework of migration, short and long distance migration, primary and secondary migration; Geologic factors controlling hydrocarbon migration, forces responsible for migration, migration routes and barriers; Hydrocarbon traps - Definition, anticlinal theory and trap theory, classification of hydrocarbon traps, time of trap formation and time of hydrocarbon accumulation; Cap rocks – definition and general properties; Formation water characteristics as oil exploration leads; Plate tectonics and global distribution of hydrocarbon reserves; Classification of Indian basins and petroleum geology of Assam, Bengal, Cauvery, Krishna-Godavari, Cambay and Bombay offshore basins; Natural gas hydrates and its potentialities.

Coal Geology:
Coal and its properties - Different varieties and ranks of coal; Origin of coal; Types of depositional processes; Coalification processes and its causes; Sediments closely associated with coal (coal balls, tonsteins, seat-earths, under-clays, fire-clays and soils); Lithotypes, microlithotypes and macerals, Maceral analysis of coal; Mineral and organic matter in coal; Application of coal geology in hydrocarbon exploration; Coal-bed methane - Maturation of methane in coals, coal as a reservoir, fundamentals of coal bed methane exploration and production; Methods of coal prospecting and estimation of coal reserves; Application of coal petrography, proximate and ultimate analyses, industrial evaluation of coal characteristics with reference to coal classification; Geology and coal petrography of different coalfields and lignite fields of India; Uses of coal for various industries e.g. carbonization, liquefaction, power generation, gasification and coal-bed methane production.

Nuclear Geology:
Radioactivity and radioactive decay, growth and decay mechanisms (α β γ decay), decay units and dosage, neutron activation; Mineralogy of U and Th bearing economic minerals, geochemistry of U-Th and their distribution in ore bodies through geologic time; U and Th metallogenic provinces of India; Detectors of radioactivity - Geiger, proportional and scintillation counters and spectrometers.

Suggested Readings :

  1. Selley, R. C., and Sonnenberg, S. A., 2014, Elements of Petroleum Geology (3rd Edition), Academic Press.
  2. Chilinger, G. V., Buryakovsky, L. A., Eremenko, N. A., and Gorfunkel, M. V., 2005, Developments in Petroleum Science-Geology and Geochemistry of Oil and Gas (Volume 52), Elsevier Science.
  3. North, F. K., 1985, Petroleum Geology, Springer Netherlands.
  4. Chandra, D., Singh, R. M., and Singh, M. P., 2000, Textbook of Coal (Indian Context),  Tara Book Agency.
  5. Singh, M. P., 1998, Coal and organic Petrology,  Hindustan Publishing Corporation.
  6. Aswathnarayana, U., 1985, Principles of Nuclear Geology, Routledge.
  7. Dahlkamp, F. J., 1993, Uranium Ore Deposits, Springe-Verlag.
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