Hydrocarbon generation and expulsion characteristics of Lower Permian P1f source rocks in the Fengcheng area, northwest margin, Junggar Basin, NW China: implications for tight oil accumulation potential assessment

Combined with the actual geological settings, tight oil is the oil that occurs in shale or tight reservoirs, which has permeability less than 1 mD and is interbedded with or close to shale, including tight dolomitic oil and shale oil. The Fengcheng area (FA), at the northwest margin of the Junggar Basin, northwest China, has made significant progress in the tight oil exploration of the Fengcheng (P1f) Formation recently, which indicates that the tight oil resources have good exploration prospects. Whereas the lack of recognition of hydrocarbon generation and expulsion characteristics of Permian P1f source rocks results in the misunderstanding of tight oil resource potential. Based on the comprehensive analysis of geological and geochemical characteristics of wells, seismic inversion, sedimentary facies, tectonic burial depth, etc., the characteristics of P1f source rocks were investigated, and the horizontal distributions of the following aspects were predicted: the thickness of source rocks, abundance and type of organic matter. And on this basis, an improved hydrocarbon generation potential methodology together with basin simulation techniques was applied to unravel the petroleum generation and expulsion characteristics of P1f source rocks in FA. Results show that the P1f source rocks distribute widely (up to 2039 km2), are thick (up to 260 m), have high total organic content (TOC, ranging from 0.15 to 4 wt%), are dominated by type II kerogen and have entered into low mature–mature stage. The modeling results indicate that the source rocks reached hydrocarbon generation threshold and hydrocarbon expulsion threshold at 0.5% Ro and 0.85% Ro and the comprehensive hydrocarbon expulsion efficiency was about 46%. The amount of generation and expulsion from the P1f source rocks was 31.85 × 108 and 15.31 × 108 t, respectively, with a residual amount of 16.54 × 108 t within the source rocks. Volumetrically, the geological resource of shale oil is up to 15.65 × 108 t. Small differences between the amounts calculated by the volumetric method compared with that by hydrocarbon generation potential methodology may be due to other oil accumulations present within interbedded sands associated with the oil shales. Copyright © 2015 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Analysis of geological effects on methane adsorption capacity of continental shale: a case study of the Jurassic shale in the Tarim Basin, northwestern China

The Jurassic shale is an important source rock for the found gas reservoirs in the Tarim Basin, northwestern China, but has never been researched for shale gas potential. The geological effects on methane adsorption capacity for the gas shale have been investigated in this paper through the geochemical, mineralogical and adsorption analyses on samples from wells and sections. The methane adsorption capacity ranges from 0.58 to 16.57 cm3/g, and the total organic carbon (TOC) content is between 0.5 and 13.5 wt%. The organic maturity measured by Tmax is between 410 °C (immature) and 499 °C (overmature). The methane adsorption capacity of the Jurassic continental shale in the Tarim Basin is affected by many geological factors, including the TOC content, organic matter maturity, mineral composition, surface area and pore size distribution. The TOC content is the most significant factor with a positive effect on the adsorption capacity of the Jurassic shale, and the influence varies piecewise according to the TOC content. The TOC content contributes much more to the methane adsorption capacity of organic‐rich shale samples (TOC content > 0.7 wt%) than to the organic‐lean samples (TOC content < 0.7 wt%). The mineral composition is a secondary factor, and the abundance of clay content has a positive effect on the methane adsorption capacity despite its relatively weaker adsorption ability compared to TOC. The pore size distribution has different effects on surface area and pore volume. Mesopores and micropores provide the major surface area and are mainly derived from TOC and illite, which has a positive influence on the adsorption capacity. Mesopores and macropores offer the major pore volume and are mainly formed by illite, which is the major contributor for pore volume rather than surface area. In addition, the TOC and illite contents of the Jurassic shale in the Tarim Basin are closely related to the origin, maturity and diagenesis evolution of the shale: (1) both TOC and illite content variations are related to the different provenances and depositional environments of shale; (2) the decrease of TOC content with increasing maturity is also partly attributed to hydrocarbon generation; and (3) the increase of illite content with increasing maturity is due to illitization in the diagenesis of shale. Copyright © 2015 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.