C-GC-MS and its application to crude oil analysis

Author : Comet, P.A., Ooi, S.T. & Yap, A.B.
Publication : Bulletin of the Geological Society of Malaysia
Page : 1 – 25
Volume Number : 25
Year : 1989
DOI : https://doi.org/10.7186/bgsm25198901

Bulletin of the Geological Society of Malaysia, Volume 25, Dec.1989, pp. 1 – 25

C-GC-MS and its application to crude oil analysis


Core Laboratories, 24A, Lim Teck Boo Road, Singapore 1953


Abstract: The Gas Chromatograph linked to a Mass Spectrometer with computerized data acquisition capability (C-GC-MS) makes for a very versatile and powerful analytical tool. The important function of the GC-MS in petroleum exploration and production studies is its ability to detect BIOMARKERS.

What are biomarkers? They are organic compounds whose carbon skeleton give an unambiguous link with a known natural or biological product. Examples are isoprenoids, triterpanes, steranes, sterols etc. In other words they may be described as “chemical fossils.” Their thermal stability in oils and sediments (source-rocks) make them very useful in oil to source rock correlation studies or determination of the number of oil pools present in an area. A study using GC-MS data on a number of “oil stained” rock samples from Southeast Asia and the Bahamas will be highlighted as an example to illustrate the usefulness of C-GC-MS in the recognition of petroleum and determination of its source and maturity.