The thermal properties (thermal conductivity, volumetric heat capacity, anisotropy coefficient, heterogeneity factor) of 129 core plugs from a well crossed the bazhen svite were studied with the optical scanning technique. Relationship established between the thermal properties and total organic carbon demonstrates a close correlation between the thermal conductivity and total organic carbon. It was established that total organic carbon influence on the thermal conductivity dominates, when a porosity influence on the thermal conductivity, that is essential for other terrigenous and carbonate rocks, is suppressed. Thermal anisotropy coefficient correlates well with the thermal conductivity and total organic carbon also. Thermal heterogeneity factor increases with a decrease in total organic content that characterizes texture and structure of the bazhen svite rocks. The results demonstrate that thermal conductivity data inferred easily with high precision with application of the non-destructive non-contact optical scanning technique application provides quick and representative estimation of the total organic carbon from numerous measurements on full size cores. Such approach can be implemented within a thermal core logging when the measurements of thermal conductivity, volumetric heat capacity, thermal anisotropy coefficient, and thermal heterogeneity factor are performed from continuous thermal profiling on all full size cores recovered from a well.