In a few words

Maria-Fernanda Romero-Sarmiento joined IFP Energies nouvelles in 2010 as a research scientist in organic geochemistry. She holds a Ph.D. in Organic Geochemistry from the University of Lille (France). She also holds a HDR diploma to supervise research from Sorbonne Université (Paris). Her research mainly focuses on the following topics:

(1) Characterization of the sedimentary organic matter, complex source rocks (including their geochemical and petrophysical properties), oils, geothermal scales, corrosion inhibitors, lubricants, polymers, biogas, among others.

(2) Physico-chemical analysis of the sedimentary organic matter: organic extraction, kerogen isolation, open and closed pyrolysis, biomarkers (GC-MS), vitrinite  reflectance, gas chromatography, stable isotopes, Raman, HRTEM, among others.

(3) Developments of new models and methods for ROCK-EVAL® device and basin modeling software TEMISFLOWTM.

(4) Identification of potential source rock intervals: quality and thermal maturity including source rock kinetics (Canada, USA, Argentina, Africa, Eastern Mediterranean, Middle East, Venezuela).

She also supervises Post-doc, PhD and Master students as well as technical staff.


Complete list of publications at ORCIDPublons - Google Scholar pages

Research subjects
Characterization of the organic matter: thermal cracking (Rock-Eval®), kinetics, nanostructure, organic porosity, adsorption capacity, isotopic signature.
Characterization of complex source rocks (including their geochemical and petrophysical properties), oils, geothermal scales, corrosion inhibitors, lubricants, polymers, biogas, among others.
Evaluation of the organic matter nanostructure with increasing thermal maturation.

Technical advisor: Integrated analytical services and R&D JIP in Organic Geochemistry and Gas Analysis for Environment, Oil & Gas Projects (flyer).

Research projects: Advanced methodologies to characterize: sedimentary organic matter, complex source-reservoir rocks, oils, geothermal scales, lubricants, polymers, biogas, among others.

PhD advisor: Tundra-permafrost characterization in Canada, 2022 - 2025.

Master advisor: Potential source rock characterization in Tunisia in collaboration with ETAP, 2020.

Postdoc advisor: On-line compounds recovery system coupled to a Rock-Eval® device, 2018 - 2019.

Master advisor: Source rock characterization in Myanmar Basin (Thailand) in collaboration with PTTEP, 2019.

PhD advisor: Potential source rock characterization in Cyprus, 2016 - 2019.

Master advisor: Application of the new Rock-Eval® Shale PlayTM method, 2015.

Master advisor: Development of the New Rock-Eval® Shale PlayTM method, 2014.


Contributions to IFPEN applications

Industrial Software TemisFlowTM : Development and / or improvement of new models involving organic geochemistry concepts in basin modeling software: kinetics, organic porosity, gas adsorption capacity (paper)


Rock-Eval® device : Development of new analytical methods to improve the characterization of several kind of samples (papers 1 & 2)


PhD supervision

2022-2025: Understanding and modeling of tundra gases escape mechanisms from the soil to the atmosphere and their consequences during global warming by Carlos Juarez in collaboration with Elyn Humphreys (Carleton University, Canada), Guillaume Berthe (IFPEN) and Philipp Schiffmann (IFPEN).

2016-2019: Source rock characterization and petroleum system modeling offshore Cyprus (Eastern Mediterranean) by Sebastian Grohmann in collaboration with Ralf Littke (RWTH Aachen University, Germany), François Baudin (UPMC Sorbonne University, France) and Fadi Nader (IFPEN).


Invited talk at conferences

AAPG Hedberg Conference, Advances in Rock-Eval® Method and Source Rock Characterization to Predict In-Situ Liquid Hydrocarbons. Houston - USA, 2019. Invited oral presentation.


Conference organization

3rd EAGE Geochemistry Workshop: Technical committee member, Online. September 2021.

IMOG 2023. Technical committee member, September 2023



Part-time lecturer, teacher: IFP School (France). Teaching courses in Reservoir Geochemistry to engineer’s students, 2021 – present.

Part-time lecturer, teacher: Ecole Centrale – Supelec (France). Teaching courses in Organic geochemistry to engineer’s students, 2013 – 2017.



2012 : Prix de Thèse FFG-TOTAL, a French prize from FFG – TOTAL (second place) for the best Ph.D. thesis in France.

2007-2010 : Program Alßan, a high level scholarship program from European Commission specifically addressed to Latin America (scholarship No. E07D402105VE).


Complete list of publications at ORCIDPublons - Google Scholar pages


  • Romero-Sarmiento, M.-F., Ravelojaona, H., Pillot, D., Rohais, S. Polymer quantification using the Rock-Eval® device for identification of plastics in sediments. Science of the Total Environment 807, 151068 (2022).
  • Romero-Sarmiento, M.-F., Ravelojaona, H., Maubec, N. Corrosion inhibitors and lubricants characterization using the Rock-Eval® Shale PlayTM method: case studies to determine the origin of geothermal scales. Geothermics 101, 102357 (2022). 
  • Romero-Sarmiento, M.-F. A quick analytical approach to estimate both free versus sorbed hydrocarbon contents in liquid rich source rocks. AAPG Bulletin, 103: 2031-2043 (2019).

  • Cadeau, P., Romero-Sarmiento, M.-F., Sissmann, O., Beaumont, V. On-line recovery system coupled to a Rock-Eval® device: An analytical methodology for characterization of liquid and solid samples. Organic Geochemistry 144: 104014 (2020).

  • Romero-Sarmiento, M.-F., Rohais, S., Littke, R. Lacustrine Type I kerogen characterization at different thermal maturity levels: Application to the Late Cretaceous Yacoraite Formation in the Salta Basin – Argentina. International Journal of Coal Geology, 203: 15-27 (2019).

  • Romero-Sarmiento M.-F., Ramiro-Ramirez S., Berthe G., Fleury M., Littke R. Geochemical and petrophysical source rock characterization of the Vaca Muerta Formation, Argentina: Implications for unconventional petroleum resource estimations. International Journal of Coal Geology 184: 27-41 (2017).

  • Romero-Sarmiento, M.-F., Euzen T., Rohais S., Jiang C., Littke R. Artificial thermal maturation of source rocks at different thermal maturity levels: Application to the Triassic Montney and Doig Formations in the Western Canada Sedimentary Basin. Organic Geochemistry 97: 148-162 (2016).

  • Romero-Sarmiento M.-F., Pillot D., Letort G., Lamoureux-Var V., Beaumont V., Huc A.-Y., Garcia B. New Rock-Eval method for characterization of unconventional shale resource systems. Oil & Gas Science and Technology 71, 37  (2016).

  • Romero-Sarmiento M.-F., Rouzaud J.-N., Bernard S., Deldicque D., Thomas M., Littke R. Evolution of Barnett Shale organic carbon structure and nanostructure with increasing maturation. Organic Geochemistry 71: 7-16 (2014).

  • Romero-Sarmiento M.-F., Ducros M., Carpentier B., Lorant F., Cacas M.-C., Pegaz-Fiornet S., Wolf S., Rohais S., Moretti I. Quantitative evaluation of TOC, organic porosity and gas retention distribution in a gas shale play using petroleum system modeling: Application to the Mississippian Barnett Shale. Marine and Petroleum Geology 45: 315-330 (2013).



  • Romero-Sarmiento, M.-F., Ravelojaona, H., Pillot, D., Rohais, S. (2021). Procédé de caractérisation de présence et/ou de quantification de polymères dans un milieu poreux. IFPEN patent 21/05123.
  • Romero-Sarmiento, M.-F. & Ravelojaona, H. (2019). Procédé pour caractériser les composés organiques hydrocarbonés contenus dans un dépôt solide d'une installation géothermique : Rock-Eval® pour caractériser des dépôts solides en géothermie. IFPEN patent 19/0337.

  • Romero-Sarmiento, M.-F., Cadeau, P., Sissmann, O., Beaumont, V. (2019). Système et procédé pour la détermination de la composition chimique des composés contenus dans un échantillon. IFPEN Patent 19/07457.


Book chapters

  • Romero-Sarmiento, M.-F., Applications to characterize petroleum source rocks, to be published in 2022, ISTE Science Publishing book chapter of the Rock-Eval® method: principles and applications. Editor(s): François Baudin.