Carnot IFPEN Ressources EnergétiquesBasin
Our solutions

In the field of basin modeling, IFPEN develops equipment and advanced software solutions and services for industry. Our integrated exploration approach ranges from geochemistry through to oil system modeling, via stratigraphic and kinematic modeling. The combined result is a unique workflow to understand the dynamic evolution of the underground environment over geological periods and manage the uncertainty associated with underground exploration.

The laboratory equipment and workflows developed by IFPEN, combined with modeling, are aimed at improving multidisciplinary knowledge of the properties of the underground environment. Data and parameters can then be used directly in basin models, making it possible to improve their calibration and predictive capacity.



IFPEN has a geochemistry platform that offers a broad range of analytical techniques for rock and fluid characterization and specific gas analyses. The processes applied deliver high-quality analytical results and reproducible measurements. 

Organic geochemistry: the analysis of organic matter

IFPEN boasts experimental technologies and expertise making it possible to characterize organic matter as well as understand its evolution over time. These activities provide the fundamental input data required for oil system modeling.

Open-system pyrolysis: Rock-Eval® and Rock-Eval® 7 Sulfur

Rock-Eval® is an equipment designed to measure the quality and maturity of potential source rocks via pyrolysis. Rock-Eval® is marketed by Vinci Technologies.


Rock-Eval® 7 Sulfur, the latest version of the Rock-Eval tool, is used to estimate the sulfur content of kerogen and oil and, in some instances, identify sulfur-containing minerals. Its multipoint calibration improves the reliability and accuracy of the analysis results. 6 standard rocks have been created for the purpose, covering broad sulfur and carbon content ranges. They are made available to users: 4 source rocks, 1 kerogen and 1 reservoir rock.

>> Reference Materials

Tableau de présentation des roches

Reference values:
>> IFPEN-160 000
>> IFPEN-300 000
>> IFPEN-310 000
>> IFPEN-320 000
>> IFPEN-400 000
>> IFPEN-500 000
>> Analytical methods



Kerogenatron: the extraction of organic matter

Laboratory used to extract organic matter from rocks by acidification and isolation of the organic matter. The roles of a rock’s organic and mineral matter in geochemical processes can then be studied separately.


Closed-system pyrolysis: Study of the kinetics of hydrocarbon genesis

Artificial maturation methodology with the use of gold tubes as well as the analysis of the gases formed using Toepler lines and analyses of the liquids generated via liquid chromatography make it possible to study the kinetics of hydrocarbon genesis.

Gas geochemistry: isotopic analyses and conventional and rare gas analyses

In this field, IPEN boasts cutting-edge equipment used to analyze the molecular composition of the gas, study stable carbon and hydrogen isotopes and analyze rare gases.

In the field of geochemistry, teams are capable of delivering advanced studies (within the framework of partnerships or in the form of services), and conducting R&D projects - bilateral or JIP-type (Joint Industrial Project) - for complex rock characterization and gas analysis via the implementation of advanced analytical methods.

>> See IFPEN “Organic geochemical and gas analytical services” fact sheet (October 2018)


Stratigraphic modeling is aimed at modeling sedimentary filling, on a regional scale and over geological periods of time, incorporating multiple geological processes (basin deformation, sediment supply and transport) and interacting with past climatic changes.

DionisosFlow™: sedimentary basin filling modeling

DionisosFlow™ methodology, developed by IFPEN over the past 20 years, consists in modeling sedimentary processes and providing a 3D (actually 4D with geological timescale) numerical grid representing the geometry and nature of the basin’s sedimentary layers, and providing quantitative indications concerning specific rock properties. This modeling methodology is based on a new generation of parallelized numerical simulator. The results of the research and development conducted by IFPEN are transferred in the DionisosFlow™ software marketed by Beicip Franlab. Additionaly, IFPEN with its partners under DionisosFlow™ also provides R&D, technical consultancy and technical project engineering studies for others in the field of sedimentary modeling.

IFPEN organizes and coordinates JIPs (Joint industry projects), collaborative research projects bringing together several industrial partners who jointly finance a program designed to solve a target problem addressing the partners’ expectations and needs. With this format, the financial risks are shared upstream and research results are shared downstream. It provides a platform for exploring avenues leading to innovations and offers the partners a genuine competitive advantage, giving them rapid access to new technologies. IFPEN is coordinating JIPs in partnership with more than 30 national and international companies.
In the field of advanced 3D stratigraphic basin modeling, IFPEN is conducting pooled studies hinged around the modeling of geological processes within the framework of a JIP.

DORS (Dionisos Organic-Rich Sediments) JIP: modeling the production, decomposition and preservation of organic matter

The 3D simulation of the deposit, burial and transport of organic matter in the underground environment can be used to predict the spatial and temporal occurrence of source rocks from an oil and gas point of view. IFPEN’s approach, developed within the framework of the 1st phase of the DORS JIP (DORS 1), was used to develop base modules for modeling organic matter production and decomposition processes in various environments (marine, land and lacustrine).


The 2nd phase of the DORS JIP (DORS 2) is aimed at calibrating the marine organic matter module on the basis of geochemical proxies, improving the link to oil system modeling, and describing the influx of nutrients resulting from underground leaching and transported in underground water flows into lakes.

>> See “Dionisos organic-rich sediments: DORS 2” fact sheet (May 2018)


CarDIO (Carbonate early diagenesis - DionisosFlow™) JIP: understanding and modeling the transformation of carbonaceous sediments in rocks under the effect of diagenetic processes

Once deposited, sediments, in the "low" pressure and temperature conditions prevailing beneath the surface, undergo complex physicochemical changes that generate a heterogeneous distribution of properties. In the exploration and characterization of reservoir (particularly carbonaceous) quality, it is vitally important to understand and predict the distribution of these geological heterogeneities.

The program for this JIP concerns the modeling of the early diagenesis of marine and coastal carbonates: the development of physical laws for different diagenetic reactions (cementation, dissolution, etc.) in different environments (marine, lacustrine, hypersaline, meteoric, etc.) subsurface, with incorporation of the interactions between surface and underground water flows, and sediment transformation processes.

>> See CarDIO fact sheet (May 2018)


GeoAnalog™: a new digital tool for understanding complex (tectonic) geological processes

Analog modeling at IFPEN is an ecosystem with two types of complementary activities: firstly, the acquisition of new laboratory-scale analog models, the fruit of 30 years’ expertise and around 1,500 analog experiments conducted by IFPEN, used to feed the database and, secondly, a GeoAnalog™ web service aimed at exploiting this database.


Developed by IFPEN, GeoAnalog™ is a web service aimed at providing a better understanding of the deformation, over time, of complex geological structures and helping to interpret seismic data. Some of the database models can be accessed by everyone in SaaS (Software as a Service) mode: the catalog of analog models can be consulted free of charge and, for GeoAnalog™ customers, models can be analyzed and visualized via interactive and intuitive technologies.

>> See GeoAnalog™ fact sheet (July 2018)

Kine3D®: optimizing geological interpretation through structural restoration and balancing

Kinematic restoration is aimed at constructing a geological scenario, retracing in kinematic form the geometric evolution of a sedimentary basin over time, from its genesis through to the current topography. In this field, the IFPEN’s R&I results are transferred in specific modules of the Kine3D® software integrated in the SKUA® suite marketed by our partner Emerson.

Kine3D® simplifies and accelerates the 3D restoration process considerably, applying geological, lithological and geomechanical parameters, in order to restore models to their undeformed state. This process is used to validate structural seismic interpretations and geometries, incorporating geological constraints.

It is also used to construct 4D basin models (the 4th dimension being geological time periods), including the decompaction and reincorporation of eroded volumes, to study basin maturity and fluid migration (lien avec le logiciel TemisFlow™), as well as to predict the density of fractures that may subsequently constrain fractured reservoir modeling (lien avec le logiciel FracaFlow™).


In the field of oil system characterization and modeling on a sedimentary basin scale, IFPEN’s research concerns the modeling of complex basins from a tectonic point of view, migration simulation with a new-generation ArcTem simulator capable of modeling fluid flows through and along fault planes, the integration of tectonic processes in the basin model and uncertainty and risk analysis.

TemisFlow™: understanding and modeling oil and gas generation, production, migration, trapping and accumulation processes via dynamic oil system simulation

TemisFlow™ is an integrated tool for dynamically simulating the evolution of the sedimentary basin and the associated oil system over geological time periods. It offers all the advanced functionalities required to treat a broad spectrum of difficult contexts, particularly highly pressurized or compacted formations, tectonically complex environments (faults) with specific migration models adapted to non-structured meshes, and thermal modeling. By predicting the volumes accumulated in reservoir formations as well as the quality of the hydrocarbons trapped via rigorous compositional modeling, TemisFlow™ is the ultimate solution for analyzing complex oil systems and reducing exploration risks.

Advanced technologies (from experimental characterization to simulation) are also developed for modeling biogenic gas production in sedimentary basins as well as predicting and evaluating the sour gas risk (H2S and CO2) in exploration.

KronosFlow™: 2D kinematic restoration to evaluate the oil system of complex basins from a tectonic point of view

KronosFlow™ is the essential tool to easily and effectively create 2D kinematic scenarios for the evaluation of oil systems in complex, highly structured and/or faulted geological environments, on a basin scale. It is capable of providing geologically accepted restoration scenarios while preserving the deformation of the internal mesh for accurate mass balance without compromising oil system modeling quality. This mesh deformation is essential to take adequate account of deformation in porous media, heat transfer, hydrocarbon generation and fluid migration over geological time periods. KronosFlow™, which by its very nature is integrated in TemisFlow™, thus makes it possible to obtain quantitative predictions relating to pressure generation and hydrocarbon accumulations.


In the field of exploration, available observations and measurements tend to be limited and it is beneficial to enable users to explore their models beyond the traditional best case or worst case scenarios, with a view to well-founded, more informed decision-making.

CougarFlow™: the quantification of prediction uncertainties, effective optimization of simulated models and in-depth analysis of associated risks

CougarFlow™ combines experiment program design and response surface methodologies, which facilitate uncertainty quantification and model optimization. Widely used within the context of reservoir modeling, developments are ongoing to enable users to explore their models in basin modeling.

In the field of basin modeling, IFPEN is planning to conduct pooled research in the form of a JIP (Joint Industry Project) in order to develop assisted workflows for risk analysis concerning spatial output properties and for basin model calibration.


Vincent Richard

  • Program manager: “Basin modeling” and “Energy transition support”