The key to understanding a shale resource play is understanding the amount and characteristics
of the organic matter contained in the rock. Analyses used to determine this information includes Source Rock
Analysis, TOC measurements and Vitrinite Reflectance (VRo).
Source Rock Analysis and TOC
Source Rock Analysis and TOC are used to determine both the rock's potential to generate hydrocarbons and the
maturity of the organic material. Measurements determine the organic richness (TOC), free oil content (S1),
remaining potential (S2) and thermal maturity (Tmax). Additionally, various ratios derived from this data can
also aid in the interpretation of the characteristics of the organic matter in the rock. These include the
Hydrogen Index (HI), Oxygen Index (OI) and production index (PI).
Vitrinite Reflectance (VRo)
Vitrinite Reflectance provides an assessment of thermal maturity in rocks younger than Devonian Age. VRo
measurements are a necessary compliment to SRA and TOC analyses. In rocks older than Devonian, reflectance of
graptolites, chitinozoans, scolecodonts, and bitumen, can be measured, and subsequently converted to a vitrinite
Ro equivalent for comparative purposes.
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