Production Index (PI)

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Exploring for Oil and Gas Traps
Series Treatise in Petroleum Geology
Part Critical elements of the petroleum system
Chapter Evaluating source rocks
Author Carol A. Law
Link Web page
Store AAPG Store

Maturity of a homogeneous source section can be accessed from the production index (PI). PI is calculated from Rock-Eval data:

where S1 is the quantity of free hydrocarbons (gas + oil), in mg/g of rock and S2 is the quantity of thermally generated (cracked) hydrocarbons, in mg/g of rock Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; invalid names, e.g. too many.

How to apply PI

PI increases continuously through the oil window up to a value of 0.50. The following cutoffs can generally be applied.

Production index Generation zone
< 0.10 Immature
0.10-0.30 Oil generation
> 0.30 Gas generation/oil cracking


PI data are misleading if the S1 peak includes nonindigenous hydrocarbons, such as drilling additives or migrated hydrocarbons. Expulsion characteristics of a source rock are not considered when looking at PI numbers. If the expulsion saturation threshold of the source rock is high, the PI data will be overestimated. If the expulsion saturation threshold is low, the data will be underestimated.

A trend is valid only if developed over a uniform source interval. If the depositional environment changes significantly, establish a different PI trend for each unique source rock type.

See also


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