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Natural resources

natural resources

Petroleum exploration – we are utilising novel molecular (e.g. 3-dimensional GC X GC TOFMS) and isotopic approaches to elucidate the source and geological age of organic matter, establishing new biodegradation proxies in petroleum reservoirs, establishing migration and accumulation histories of petroleum and correlating oils-oils and oils-source rocks. New organic and inorganic proxies to establish the precise age source of petroleum are being established. The source of oil associated with spills, shipping operations and natural seepages. Application of organic geochemistry is applied to conventional and unconventional hydrocarbon reserves as well as mineral systems. A wide range of global petroleum systems of varying ages are currently under investigation including but not limited to: Australia (Perth, Canning, Vulcan, Bonaparte, Carnarvon and Georgina Basins) Western Canada, China, Indonesia, the Arctic, India and Pakistan. The deep-subsurface biosphere has recently become a focus of international research. Microbial habitats have been shown to extend to significant depths beneath the Earth’s surface. While microbial life in sub-seafloor sediments has received much attention, little is known about deep-subsurface bacterial behaviour in the presence of petroleum and minerals. Petroleum reservoirs can be regarded as natural bioreactors.

natural resources

Mineral exploration – It has long been noted that organic matter (OM) is often closely associated with many major classes of mineral deposit, but the role of organics in ore formation has historically been under-explored. The CSIRO Organic Geochemistry of Mineral Systems (OGMS) Cluster project was formed in 2011 under the Minerals Down Under Flagship, and was led by Curtin University in collaboration with the University of Western Australia, the University of Melbourne, the Australian National University and a number of international researchers. The Cluster project ended in 2015, but work in this area is continuing with a number of grants and research fellowships having been awarded. The OGMS Cluster project has aimed to answer questions including: what is the composition of OM associated with major mineral systems? What influence did this OM have on the transport and/or deposition of metals? How has the formation of ore deposits affected the associated OM (e.g. thermal maturity, radiolytic alteration)? What role can OM play in ore deposit exploration? Study sites include major deposits of lead and zinc (Here’s Your Chance – Australia), gold (Cosmo Howley, St. Ives & Wiluna – Australia and Macraes – New Zealand) and uranium (Mulga Rock – Australia). A range of techniques have been applied including traditional analysis of extractable OM, hydrofluoric acid digestion to release OM bound within the mineral matrix (Bitumen II), hydropyrolysis (HyPy), Micro-Scale Sealed Vessel (MSSV) pyrolysis, Raman spectroscopy and theoretical modelling. A gas chromatography – inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (GC-ICPMS) system has been developed for compound-specific measurement of ?34S – only the third such system worldwide.

Examples of publications

Asif, M., Grice, K., Fazeelat, T. 2009. Assessment of petroleum biodegradation using stable hydrogen isotopes and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons Organic Geochemistry 40, 301-311.

Audino, M., Grice, K., Alexander, R., Kagi, R.I. 2002. Macrocyclic alkanes in crude oils from the algaenan of Botryococcus braunii. Organic Geochemistry 33, 978-984.

Dawson, D., Grice, K., Alexander, R. 2005. Effect on maturation on the indigenous ?D signatures of individual hydrocarbons in sediments and crude oils from the Perth Basin (Western Australia). Organic Geochemistry 36, 95-104.

Dawson, D., Grice, K., Alexander, R. 2005. Stable hydrogen isotope ratios of sediment maturity? Australian Petroleum Production and Exploration Association 1, 253-261.

Dawson, D., Grice, K., Alexander, R. 2005. Effects of maturation on the indigenous ?D signatures of individual hydrocarbons in sediments and crude oils from the Perth Basin (Western Australia). Organic Geochemistry 36, 95-104.

Dawson, D., Grice, K., Edwards, D.S., Alexander, R. 2007. The effect of source and maturity on the stable isotopic compositions of individual hydrocarbons in sediments and crude oils from the Vulcan Sub-basin, Timor Sea, Northern Australia. Organic Geochemistry 38, 1015-1038.

Dick, J.M., Evans, K.A., Holman, A.I.Jaraula, C.M.B.Grice, K., 2013. Estimation and application of the thermodynamic properties of aqueous phenanthrene and isomers of methylphenanthrene at high temperature. Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta 122, 247-266.

Dick, J.M., Evans, K.A., Holman, A.I., Leach, D., Grice, K., 2014. Combined sulfur, carbon and redox budget constraints on genetic models for the Here’s Your Chance Pb–Zn deposit, Australia. GeoResJ 3–4, 19-26.

Eiserbeck, C., Nelson, R., Grice, K., Curiale, J., Reddy C., 2012. Comparison of GC-MS, GC-MRM-MS, and GCxGC to characterise higher plant biomarkers in Tertiary oils and rock extracts. Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta 87, 299-322.

Fusetti, L., Behar, F., Bounaceur, R., Marquaire, P.M., Grice, K., Derenne, S. 2010. New insights into secondary gas generation from oil thermal cracking. A Kinetic approach using 1,2,4-Trimethylbenzene. I. A free-radical mechanism Organic Geochemistry 41 146-167.

Fusetti, L., Behar, F.,  Grice, K., Derenne, S. 2010. New insights into secondary gas generation from oil thermal cracking. A kinetic approach using 1,2,4-trimethylbenzene. Part II: A lumped kinetic scheme Organic Geochemistry 41 168-176.

Fusetti, L., Behar, F.,  Grice, K., Derenne, S. 2010. New insights into secondary gas generation from oil thermal cracking. A kinetic approach using 1,2,4-trimethylbenzene. Part III Organic Geochemistry 41, 431-436.

Greenwood, P.F., Brocks, J.J., Grice, K.Schwark, L.Jaraula, C.M.B.Dick, J.M., Evans, K.A., 2013. Organic geochemistry and mineralogy. I. Characterisation of organic matter associated with metal deposits. Ore Geology Reviews 50, 1-27.

Greenwood, P.F., Amrani, A., Sessions, A., Raven, M.R., Holman, A.I., Dror, G., Grice, K., McColloch, M.T., Adkins, J.F., 2015. Development and initial biogeochemical applications of compound specific sulfur isotope analysis. In Principles and Practice of Analytical Techniques in Geosciences (ed. Grice K.). Royal Society of Chemistry, Oxford. pp 285-312.

Grice, K., Schaeffer, P., Schwark, L., Maxwell, J.R. 1996. Molecular indicators of palaeoenvironmental conditions in an immature Permian shale (Kupferschiefer, Lower Rhine Basin, N.W. Germany) from free and sulfide-bound lipids. Organic Geochemistry 25, 131-147

Grice, K., Schaeffer, P., Schwark, L., Maxwell, J.R. 1997. Changes in palaeoenvironmental conditions during deposition of the Permian Kupferschiefer (Lower Rhine Basin, N.W. Germany) inferred from molecular and isotopic compositions of biomarker components. Organic Geochemistry 26, 677-690

Grice, K., Schouten, S., Peters, K.E., Sinninghe-Damsté, J.S. 1998. Molecular isotopic characterisation of hydrocarbon biomarkers in Palaeocene-Eocene evaporitic lacustrine source rocks from the Jianghan Basin, China. Organic Geochemistry 29, 1397-1406

Grice, K., Alexander, R., Kagi, R.I. 2000. Diamondoid hydrocarbon ratios as indicators of biodegradation in Australian crude oils. Organic Geochemistry 31, 67-73.

Grice, K., De Mesmay, R., Wang, S. and de Glucina, A. 2008. New 5A molecular sieving method for CSIA. Organic Geochemistry 39, 284-288.

Grotheer, H.Robert, A.M.Greenwood, P.F.Grice, K., 2015. Stability and hydrogenation of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons during hydropyrolysis (HyPy) – Relevance for high maturity organic matter. Organic Geochemistry 86, 45-54.

Hallmann, C., Schwark L., and Grice K. 2008 Community dynamics of anaerobic bacteria in deep petroleum reservoirs. Nature Geoscience, online August 2008.

Hallmann, C., van Aarssen, B.G.K., Grice, K. 2008. Relative efficiency of free fatty acid butyl esterification: Choice of catalyst and derivatisation procedure. Journal of Chromatography A 1198-1199,14-20.

 Holman, A.I.Grice, K.Jaraula, C.M.B., Schimmelmann, A., Brocks, J.J., 2012. Efficiency of extraction of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons from the Paleoproterozoic Here’s Your Chance Pb/Zn/Ag ore deposit and implications for a study of Bitumen II. Organic Geochemistry 52, 81-87.

Holman, A.I.Greenwood, P.F., Brocks, J.J., Grice, K., 2014. Effects of sulfide minerals on aromatic maturity parameters: Laboratory investigation using micro-scale sealed vessel pyrolysis. Organic Geochemistry 76, 270-277.

Holman, A.I.Grice, K.Greenwood, P.F., Böttcher, M.E., Walshe, J.L., Evans, K.A., 2014. New aspects of sulfur biogeochemistry during ore deposition from ?34S of elemental sulfur and organic sulfur from the Here’s Your Chance Pb/Zn/Ag deposit. Chemical Geology 387, 126-132.

Holman, A.I.Grice, K.Jaraula, C.M.B., Schimmelmann A., 2014. Bitumen II from the Paleoproterozoic Here’s Your Chance Pb/Zn/Ag deposit: Implications for the analysis of depositional environment and thermal maturity of hydrothermally-altered sediments. Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta 139, 98-109.

Hu, S., Evans, K., Craw, D., Rempel, K., Bourdet, J., Dick, K.Grice, K., 2015. Raman characterisation of carbonaceous material in the Macraes orogenic gold deposit and metasedimentary host rocks, New Zealand. Ore Geology Reviews 70, 80-95.

Jaraula, C.M.B.Schwark, L., Moreau, X., Pickel, W., Bagas, L., Grice, K., 2015. Radiolytic alteration of biopolymers in the Mulga Rock (Australia) uranium deposit. Applied Geochemistry 52, 97-108.

Ladjavardi, M., Berwick, L.J., Grice, K., Boreham, C.J., Horsfield, B. 2013. Rapid offline isotopic characterisation of hydrocarbon gases generated by micro-scale sealed vessel pyrolysisOrganic Geochemistry 58, 121-124.

Le Metayer, P., Grice, K., Chow, C.N., Cacetta, L., Maslen, E., Dawson, D., and Fusetti, L., 2014. The effect of origin and genetic processes of low-molecular-weight aromatic hydrocarbons in petroleum on their stable carbon isotopic compositions. Organic Geochemistry 72, 23-33.

Maslen, E., Grice, K., Gale, J., Hallmann, C.,  Horsfield, B. 2009. Crocetane: A potential marker of photic zone euxinia in thermally mature sediments and crude oils of Devonian age. Organic Geochemistry 49, 1-17.

Trolio, R., Grice, K., Fisher, S.J., Alexander, R., Kagi, R.I. 1999. Alkylbiphenyls and alkyldiphenylmethanes as indicators of petroleum biodegradation. Organic Geochemistry 30, 1241-1253.

Tulipani, S., Grice, K., Greenwood, P.F., Schwark, L. 2013. A pyrolysis and stable isotopic approach to investigate the origin of methyltrimethyltridecylchromans (MTTCs). Organic Geochemistry 61, 1-5.