The Exploration and Development of Unconventional (Mainly Shale) Hydrocarbon Resources

A special issue of Processes (ISSN 2227-9717). This special issue belongs to the section "Energy Systems".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (20 September 2023) | Viewed by 21082

Special Issue Editors


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Guest Editor
1. School of Geosciences, China University of Petroleum (East China), Qingdao 266580, China
2. Key Laboratory of Deep Oil and Gas, China University of Petroleum (East China), Qingdao 266580, China
Interests: unconventional resources; silicon enrichment; oil-gas accumulation; palaeoenvironmental reconstruction
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
1. School of Geosciences, China University of Petroleum (East China), Qingdao 266580, China
2. Key Laboratory of Deep Oil and Gas, China University of Petroleum (East China), Qingdao 266580, China
Interests: unconventional resources; basin research
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
1. School of Geosciences, China University of Petroleum (East China), Qingdao 266580, China
2. Key Laboratory of Deep Oil and Gas, China University of Petroleum (East China), Qingdao 266580, China
Interests: CO2 geological storage; reservoir geology; fluid–rock interaction
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals
1. School of Geosciences, China University of Petroleum (East China), Qingdao 266580, China
2. Key Laboratory of Deep Oil and Gas, China University of Petroleum (East China), Qingdao 266580, China
Interests: modeling and characterization of subsurface reservoirs; diagenesis analysis and simulation; digital rock physics; shale gas and oil
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The exploration and development of hydrocarbons (gas and oil) in unconventional reservoirs have attracted a great deal of attention due to their vast potential in these areas. Over the past two decades, the production of hydrocarbons from reservoirs with disparate depositional environments has rapidly increased in many countries (e.g., North America and China), due to the application of horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing. However, there are still many scientific issues that are implicated in the sustainable development of hydrocarbon resources, including the hydrocarbon accumulation mechanisms and models, hydrocarbon occurrence state, and hydrocarbon loss mechanism.

Therefore, the Journal of Processes announces a Special Issue on “The Exploration and Development of Unconventional (Mainly Shale) Hydrocarbon Resources”, in order to present the up-to-date advances in the theories and methodologies that are related to the accumulation mechanisms that exist in unconventional (mainly shale) reservoirs. This special issue will mainly focus on the underlying scientific issues that are related to the accumulation and depletion of hydrocarbon mechanisms in shale reservoirs, in an attempt to improve our fundamental understanding of these processes for the high single-well productivity and low-cost sustainable development of hydrocarbon.

Dr. Guoheng Liu
Dr. Jianhua Zhao
Dr. Xiaolong Sun
Dr. Yuqi Wu
Guest Editors

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Keywords

  • genesis and evolution of gas/oil and multiscale pores
  • genetic and distribution patterns of fractures
  • geological controls on reservoirs quality
  • hydrocarbon accumulation/depletion mechanisms
  • petrophysical characterization of formations
  • fluid flow and fluid–shale interactions
  • diagenesis analysis and simulation
  • digital rock physics

Published Papers (26 papers)

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19 pages, 6613 KiB  
Article
An Evaluation Method of Gas-Bearing Properties Based on Gaussian Bimodal Function Pore Structure Characterization: A Case Study of Tight Sandstone in the East China Sea Basin
by Jin Dong, Zhilong Huang, Jinlong Chen, Tianjun Li, Tong Qu and Yizhuo Yang
Processes 2023, 11(11), 3169; https://doi.org/10.3390/pr11113169 - 07 Nov 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 619
Abstract
The Xihu Sag in the East China Sea Basin is located at the edge of the eastern Chinese continent and has great exploration potential. In recent years, the development of low-permeability and tight sandstone gas has become an important area of exploration and [...] Read more.
The Xihu Sag in the East China Sea Basin is located at the edge of the eastern Chinese continent and has great exploration potential. In recent years, the development of low-permeability and tight sandstone gas has become an important area of exploration and development in the Huagang Formation (E3h) of the Xihu Sag. The tight sandstone reservoir in the Xihu Sag is characterized by serious heterogeneity, high water saturation, low resistivity, and a complex gas–water relationship. Because of these characteristics of tight sandstone reservoirs, it is difficult to perform an evaluation of them. In this work, a bimodal Gaussian density function was constructed using the data of high-pressure mercury intrusion (HPMI) and nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR); this approach was used to analyze the pore structure parameters. The reservoirs were divided into four types using the fitting parameter η, and the rock electric parameters that correspond to different pore structures were quite different. When combined with the log response equation of η with acoustic interval transit time (AC), density (DEN), and natural gamma (GR) logging curves, an evaluation method of gas-bearing properties that was based on the characteristics of the pore structure was established. Compared with the water saturation test of the sealing core, it was found that the water saturation calculated by the classification of the pore structure was more accurate than that obtained by the conventional method, and the error was less than 8.35%, which proves that this method is feasible and effective. The findings of this study can help provide a better understanding of the distribution characteristics of gas and water in tight sandstone and provide help for tight gas exploration and development. Full article
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16 pages, 3028 KiB  
Article
Mining and Analysis of Production Characteristics Data of Tight Gas Reservoirs
by Baolei Liu and Changxuan Li
Processes 2023, 11(11), 3159; https://doi.org/10.3390/pr11113159 - 05 Nov 2023
Viewed by 701
Abstract
The production characteristics of gas reservoirs are one of the important research subjects in gas reservoir development. To better guide the production development and strategy formulation of tight gas reservoirs, it is necessary to utilize data mining techniques to clarify the production characteristics [...] Read more.
The production characteristics of gas reservoirs are one of the important research subjects in gas reservoir development. To better guide the production development and strategy formulation of tight gas reservoirs, it is necessary to utilize data mining techniques to clarify the production characteristics of different reserves types of tight gas reservoirs. The production varies with the size of the recoverable reserves. In this study, 261 tight gas reservoirs worldwide were divided into three categories based on the size of their recoverable reserves. By considering the complete lifecycle of tight gas reservoirs, the production variations were classified into 16 production features, and these features were compiled into a dataset. Three algorithms, namely random forest, LightGBM, and CatBoost, were trained separately to analyze the relationship between the production characteristics and the size of the recoverable reserves of tight gas reservoirs. The objective was to define the production characteristics of tight gas reservoirs with different reserve sizes. Consequently, a set of production characteristic judgment rules that align with the size of the recoverable reserves of tight gas reservoirs was established. The findings revealed that LightGBM provided accurate predictions for the development characteristics of tight gas reservoirs with different reserve sizes. The production characteristics of large-scale tight gas reservoirs are as follows: the cumulative production at the end of the production increase phase ranges from 10 to 115.8 billion cubic meters, while the cumulative production at the end of the stable production phase ranges from 7.9 to 154.9 billion cubic meters. The peak production ranges from 2.3 to 3.8 billion cubic meters, and the decline period is estimated to last between 40 to 51 years. For medium-scale tight gas reservoirs, the production characteristics are as follows: the cumulative production at the end of the production increase phase ranges from 2.5 to 10 billion cubic meters, while the cumulative production at the end of the stable production phase ranges from 2.4 to 7.9 billion cubic meters. The peak production ranges from 0.8 to 2.3 billion cubic meters, and the decline period ranges from 20 to 40 years. As for small-scale tight gas reservoirs, the production characteristics are as follows: the cumulative production at the end of the production increase phase ranges from 0.1 to 2.5 billion cubic meters, while the cumulative production at the end of the stable production phase ranges from 0.2 to 2.4 billion cubic meters. The peak production ranges from 0.005 to 0.8 billion cubic meters, and the decline period ranges from 3 to 20 years. This study can provide potential references for the formulation of development technology policies for tight gas reservoirs and the assessment of reservoir production potential. Full article
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20 pages, 29332 KiB  
Article
Occurrence Characteristics of Chang 7 Shale Oil from the Longdong Area in the Ordos Basin: Insights from Petrology and Pore Structure
by Yunpeng Fan, Zhanyu Zhang, Xinping Zhou, Kun Zhang, Zhigang Wen, Weichao Tian, Heting Gao, Yuxuan Yang, Yuhang Liu and Xiaoyin Zheng
Processes 2023, 11(11), 3090; https://doi.org/10.3390/pr11113090 - 27 Oct 2023
Viewed by 685
Abstract
Organic geochemistry experiments, X-ray diffraction (XRD), field emission scanning electron microscopy (FE-SEM), N2 adsorption, CO2 adsorption, and two-dimensional nuclear magnetic resonance (2D NMR) were performed on ten Chang 7 shale samples (Longdong area, Ordos Basin) to elucidate their pore structure and [...] Read more.
Organic geochemistry experiments, X-ray diffraction (XRD), field emission scanning electron microscopy (FE-SEM), N2 adsorption, CO2 adsorption, and two-dimensional nuclear magnetic resonance (2D NMR) were performed on ten Chang 7 shale samples (Longdong area, Ordos Basin) to elucidate their pore structure and the characteristics of oil occurrence. Moreover, the factors influencing free oil were discussed, and an occurrence model was established. FE-SEM analysis reveals that the pore types include interparticle pores, intraplatelet pores within clay aggregates, rare fracture pores, and organic matter (OM) pores. The pores are predominantly slit-shaped. The development of micropores was mainly contributed to by OM. Quartz and clay minerals influence the development of macropores and mesopores, feldspar mainly controls macropore development, and pyrite most strongly affects micropore development. Micropores and mesopores constitute the main total pore specific surface area, while mesopores and macropores are the main contributors to the total pore volume. Pores > 2 nm are the main storage spaces for shale oil, and free oil mainly occurs in pores > 20 nm. Adsorbed oil and free oil were assessed by NMR T1–T2 mapping. The adsorbed oil signal intensities range from 7.5–23.4 a.u. per g of rock, and the free oil signal intensities range from 4.4–23.2 a.u. per g of rock. The free oil proportions are 15.9–70.6% (average of 44.2%). The free oil proportion is negatively correlated with the clay mineral content and total organic carbon (TOC) content but positively correlated with the saturated hydrocarbon content and volume of pores > 20 nm. The results of this study could help optimize favorable shale oil target areas. Full article
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26 pages, 21840 KiB  
Article
Tectonic Control on Shale Pore Structure and Gas Content from the Longmaxi Formation Shale in Southern Sichuan Basin, China: Insights from Fractal Analysis and Low-Pressure Gas Adsorption
by Xuewen Shi, Zhikai Liang, Yuran Yang, Yi Li, Zhenxue Jiang, Yanyou Li, Runtong Li and Feiyong Deng
Processes 2023, 11(10), 2873; https://doi.org/10.3390/pr11102873 - 29 Sep 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 581
Abstract
Tectonic deformation of different intensities significantly controls shale pore structure, seepage channels, and gas content. The Longmaxi Formation shales in the southern Sichuan Basin have experienced multi-stage tectonic movements, resulting in a diverse fracture system and tectonic deformation. This study focuses on three [...] Read more.
Tectonic deformation of different intensities significantly controls shale pore structure, seepage channels, and gas content. The Longmaxi Formation shales in the southern Sichuan Basin have experienced multi-stage tectonic movements, resulting in a diverse fracture system and tectonic deformation. This study focuses on three representative tectonic morphologies: deeply buried strongly deformed (DBSD), deeply buried weakly deformed (DBWD) and shallowly buried weakly deformed (LBWD). We investigated the pore structure characteristics and heterogeneity of these shales under various tectonic conditions using total organic carbon (TOC) content, X-ray diffraction (XRD), scanning electron microscopy (SEM), a low-pressure N2/CO2 adsorption experiment (LP-N2/CO2 GA), and multi-scale fractal theory. The results reveal that strong tectonic compression and deformation conditions lead to the compression and flattening of organic pores by brittle minerals, resulting in long, oriented OM pores. Fracturing of brittle pore creates multiple internal fracture systems linked to dissolution pores, forming a complex micro-fracture–pore network. With intense tectonic deformation, mesopores tend to be compressed, increasing micropore pore volume (PV) and surface area (SA). The DBSD shale exhibits the highest micropore heterogeneity, while the LBWD shale shows the lowest heterogeneity. Fractal analysis indicates a significant decrease in micropore fractal dimension (Df) with increasing burial depth. In contrast, the surface and matrix fractal dimensions (Ds and Dm) of low-buried shale micropores and meso-macropores align vertically. Shale reservoirs in tectonically stable regions exhibit more favourable gas-bearing characteristics than strongly tectonically deformed areas. The LBWD has stable tectonic conditions that are favourable for shale gas preservation. Conversely, slip faults under deep burial conditions lead to extrusion and deformation of shale pore space, ultimately compromising the original reservoir capacity and hindering shale gas enrichment. These findings contribute significantly to our understanding of pore structure and heterogeneity in tectonically deformed shale reservoirs, providing invaluable guidance for the exploration, development, and prediction of shale gas resources. Full article
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22 pages, 9803 KiB  
Article
Origin and Geological Significance of Residual Oil in High-Angle Joint Fissures: A Case Study of the Nadu Formation in Baise Basin, South China
by Ye Gao, Yan Liu, Yaohui Xu, Baolei Liu, Wenxiang He, Hongliang Duan, Wei Chen, Wei Cheng, Weichao Tian and Yunpeng Fan
Processes 2023, 11(10), 2850; https://doi.org/10.3390/pr11102850 - 27 Sep 2023
Viewed by 880
Abstract
The Baise Basin is a Paleogene pull-apart basin with numerous strike-slip faults which are not favorable for hydrocarbon preservation. The Nadu Formation, research object of this paper, is generally rich in oil and contains a large number of high-angle joint fissures. Analyzing the [...] Read more.
The Baise Basin is a Paleogene pull-apart basin with numerous strike-slip faults which are not favorable for hydrocarbon preservation. The Nadu Formation, research object of this paper, is generally rich in oil and contains a large number of high-angle joint fissures. Analyzing the origin of residual oil in high-angle joint fissures can reveal the hydrocarbon migration and accumulation characteristics of the pull-apart-type basins. Molecular geochemical composition characteristics of crude oil and oil source of the Nadu Formation were discussed based on the saturated hydrocarbon biomarker compound and stable carbon isotope distribution of n-alkanes. The studied samples were selected from four members (E2n1, E2n2, E2n3up, and E2n3low) of the Nadu Formation. The results suggested that the average oil content of E2n1 fissures is 0.32 mg/cm2, and the oil distribution is not uniform. The distribution of oil on the fissures of E2n2 and E2n3 is uniform and complete, and the oil content reaches 0.53 mg/cm2. The oil in the joint fissures of the Nadu Formation is heavy, as the light hydrocarbon is seriously lost during migration. Thus, the oil in the joint fissures is residue after crude oil loses light components during migration. By comparing the molecular biomarker characteristics and stable carbon isotopic compositions, crude oil of the Nadu Formation can be classified into three categories: E2n1, E2n2 + E2n3up, and E2n3low. The E2n1 oils have the lowest maturity and are sourced from the E2n1 source rocks. Moreover, the maturity of E2n2 and E2n3 samples are relatively high. Biomarker and carbon isotope characteristics of the E2n2 and E2n3up oils are similar, indicating that they are derived from the E2n2 + E2n3up source rocks. The E2n3low oils are the mixture of the crude oil generated from the E2n3up source rocks and the E2n3low source rocks. Results presented show that the residual oil of high-angle joint fissures in the Nadu Formation is contributed by adjacent source rocks. The crude oil discharged from the Nadu Formation can only migrate upward along high-angle joints in a short distance, and the migration distance is usually less than 5 m. In conclusion, although the Nadu Formation has developed a large number of high-angle joint fissures, crude oil in the Nadu Formation has not vertically migrated for long distance along the joint fissures. The well-preserved fractures as important shale oil storage spaces indicate that the Nadu Formation has good shale oil exploration potential. The results may provide insights into the origins of hydrocarbons in the Nadu Formation from the Baise Basin and enhanced knowledge for optimizing future exploration and production. Full article
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19 pages, 20465 KiB  
Article
Characteristics of Hydrocarbon-Generating Pressurization in Shale Series of Fengcheng Formation in the West and South of Mahu Sag, the Junggar Basin, China
by Chong Feng, Xin Wang, Shuying Bai, Yu Bai, Jiecun Zhao, Meijun Li, Qianqian Zhang and Xun Wang
Processes 2023, 11(10), 2847; https://doi.org/10.3390/pr11102847 - 27 Sep 2023
Viewed by 543
Abstract
Formation overpressure is an important controlling factor for the formation of high-yield oil reservoirs in the shale series of the Permian Fengcheng Formation in the west and south of Mahu Sag, the Junggar Basin. Hydrocarbon-generating pressurization (HGP) is an important cause of overpressure [...] Read more.
Formation overpressure is an important controlling factor for the formation of high-yield oil reservoirs in the shale series of the Permian Fengcheng Formation in the west and south of Mahu Sag, the Junggar Basin. Hydrocarbon-generating pressurization (HGP) is an important cause of overpressure in the shale series of Fengcheng Formation, but the evidence for this viewpoint is insufficient. There is still no systematic study on the quantitative calculation and distribution characteristics of HGP in the Fengcheng Formation shale series. The control effect of HGP on the formation of high-pressure and high-yield reservoirs is still unclear. Therefore, by using the data of mudstone logging and measured formation pressure, the causes of overpressure in the Fengcheng Formation shale series are clarified. The predicted organic matter abundance, the predicted maturity and thickness of source rocks, and the statistical ratios of mudstone thickness to formation thickness in each section of Fengcheng Formation are used for HGP of shale series. Combined with the physical characteristics of reservoir rocks and the geochemical characteristics of oil, the control effect of HGP on the formation of high-pressure and high-yield reservoirs is analyzed. The results indicate the following: (1) The organic matter abundance and the thickness of source rocks predicted by the logging data gradually decrease from the eastern lake basin area to the western slope area. (2) The HGP of shale series in Fengcheng Formation is related to the hydrocarbon generation capacity and the overpressure preservation conditions of the source rocks. The HGP can be quantitatively predicted by comprehensively using the organic matter abundance, the maturity, the thickness of source rocks, and the ratios of mudstone thickness to formation thickness. (3) The HGP in the Fengcheng Formation shale series also gradually decreases in distribution characteristic from the eastern lake basin area to the western slope area. (4) The oil accumulation mode of the Fengcheng Formation shale series is that, with the drive of overpressure, the oil migrates slightly within the layer, and finally accumulates to form the oil reservoir. The research results are helpful to understand the distribution characteristics of HGP and the formation mechanism of high-pressure and high-yield reservoirs in the shale series of Fengcheng Formation in the west and south of Mahu Sag, and are of great significance to guide the exploration and development of shale oil and tight oil. Full article
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14 pages, 34348 KiB  
Article
Multi-Scale Fractal Characteristics of the Pore System in Low-Permeability Conglomerates from the Junggar Basin
by Jiayu Zheng, Weichao Tian, Yang Gao, Zhigang Wen, Yunpeng Fan, Heting Gao, Shuangfang Lu and Xiaoyin Zheng
Processes 2023, 11(9), 2667; https://doi.org/10.3390/pr11092667 - 06 Sep 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 617
Abstract
The pore structure and its complexity play a critical role in fluid migration and recovery efficiency. Multiple pore types, broad pore size distribution (PSD), and extremely irregular pore morphology hinder the comprehensive investigation of pore systems and their complexity in low-permeability conglomerates. In [...] Read more.
The pore structure and its complexity play a critical role in fluid migration and recovery efficiency. Multiple pore types, broad pore size distribution (PSD), and extremely irregular pore morphology hinder the comprehensive investigation of pore systems and their complexity in low-permeability conglomerates. In this study, the multi-scale pore system and fractal characteristics of the Permian Lower Wuerhe Formation and Triassic Baikouquan Formation conglomerates from the Junggar Basin were investigated, combining physical property analysis, casting thin sections, scanning electron microscopy, and Nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR). The results show that the pore system of conglomerates consists of residual intergranular pores (RIPs), dissolution pores (DPs), clay-related pores (CRPs), and microfractures. Three types of PSD were identified according to the shape of the T2 spectrum. Based on the fractal characteristics derived from NMR data, pore systems in conglomerates were divided into macropores (mainly RIPs and DPs), mesopores (mainly CRPs), and micropores (reflect adsorption spaces). The fractal dimension of macropores (D3) increases with the increase of clay mineral content and the decrease of contents of quartz and feldspar. Moreover, the volume of macropores decreases with the increase of clay mineral content and the decrease of contents of quartz and feldspar. In addition, the fractal dimensions and volumes of mesopores and micropores have no obvious relationship with mineral composition. D3 and macropore volume control the physical properties and fluid mobility of conglomerates. T2,gm shows a strong negative correlation with D3 and macropore volume. Meanwhile, the high value of D3 would reduce the volume of macropores. These results demonstrate that D3 is a good indicator to reveal the quality of pore structure in low-permeability conglomerates. Full article
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15 pages, 14736 KiB  
Article
Distribution of Hyperpycnal Flow Related Sandstone Deposits in a Lacustrine Shale System: Implication for Hydrocarbon Reservoir Exploration in the Chang 7 Oil Member of the Triassic Yanchang Formation, Ordos Basin, China
by Pengyu Sun, Lixia Zhao, Qian Ma, Wei Zhang, Shun Zhang, Xiao Li, Juan Wen, Luxing Dou and Zhigang Wen
Processes 2023, 11(9), 2642; https://doi.org/10.3390/pr11092642 - 04 Sep 2023
Viewed by 779
Abstract
Gravity flow deposits are important hydrocarbon reservoirs in deep lacustrine deposits. Previous studies have paid much attention to the hydrocarbon reservoirs in those intrabasinal classic turbidite deposits. However, relatively little is known about the distribution of oil reservoirs in those extrabasinal hyperpycnal flow [...] Read more.
Gravity flow deposits are important hydrocarbon reservoirs in deep lacustrine deposits. Previous studies have paid much attention to the hydrocarbon reservoirs in those intrabasinal classic turbidite deposits. However, relatively little is known about the distribution of oil reservoirs in those extrabasinal hyperpycnal flow deposits. With the help of cores and wireline logging data, the present study undertakes a description and interpretation of subsurface shale oil reservoirs in the deep lake deposits in Chang 7 member, Yanchang Formation, Ordos Basin. Parallel bedded fine sandstone (Sh), massive bedded fine sandstone (Sm), massive bedded fine sandstone with mud clasts (Smg), deformed bedded siltstone (Fd), wave-lenticular bedded siltstone (Fh) and black shale (M) were found and interpreted in those deep lake deposits. The deposits were interpreted as hyperpycnal flow deposits which developed in channel, levee and deep lacustrine facies. The development of the Chang 7 sand body increased gradually, and the sand body of Chang 71 was found to be the main position of sandy hyperpycnites. The fine description of the sand body indicated a channelized sedimentary pattern. The thick sandy hyperpycnites mainly developed in the middle of those channels, and the eastern part of the study area was found to be the main deposition position of the hyperpycnal flow deposits. From the perspective of plane overlap and single well analysis, a thick sand body is the favorable position for the development of an oil reservoir, which has a significant control effect on the reservoir scale and oil production. This research can aid in understanding the facies distribution of hyperpycnal flows and has implications for hydrocarbon reservoir exploration. Full article
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20 pages, 10252 KiB  
Article
Geological Features, Paleosedimentary Environment, and Organic Matter Accumulation Mechanisms of the Lacustrine Shale Oil System: A Case Study of the Jurassic Dongyuemiao Member in the Sichuan Basin
by Enze Wang, Yang Li, Tonglou Guo, Liang Xiong, Xiaoxia Dong, Tong Wang and Kaibo Shi
Processes 2023, 11(9), 2638; https://doi.org/10.3390/pr11092638 - 04 Sep 2023
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 697
Abstract
Lacustrine shale has garnered significant attention due to its significant resource potential. The Jurassic shale in the Sichuan Basin is an important target for lacustrine shale exploration in China. However, previous studies have predominantly focused on the Da’anzhai member of the Ziliujing Formation, [...] Read more.
Lacustrine shale has garnered significant attention due to its significant resource potential. The Jurassic shale in the Sichuan Basin is an important target for lacustrine shale exploration in China. However, previous studies have predominantly focused on the Da’anzhai member of the Ziliujing Formation, and little attention has been paid to the shale of other strata. This paper aims to address this gap by investigating the Jurassic Dongyuemiao member in the Sichuan Basin. The study systematically characterizes the geological properties of the Dongyuemiao shale system, reconstructs the paleosedimentary environment, identifies the key factors influencing organic matter (OM) enrichment and physical properties, and assesses its resource potential through comparative analysis. Our results show that the Dongyuemiao shale was deposited in an oxic and semi-humid sedimentary environment characterized by intense weathering conditions. The enrichment of OM in the shale is primarily controlled by redox conditions and salinity, with redox conditions playing the most crucial role in OM accumulation. In terms of pore system characterization, clay mineral-associated pores dominate the pore types in the Dongyuemiao shale, while two types of organic matter-associated pores are also widely observed. The development of framework grain-associated pores is limited and only present in certain siliceous and carbonate minerals. The shales of the Dongyuemiao member and the Da’anzhai member exhibit slight differences in TOC content. However, the kerogen in the Dongyuemiao member displays higher hydrocarbon generation potential, and the Dongyuemiao shale exhibits more favorable pore structure parameters. Overall, the Dongyuemiao shale does not exhibit any significant disadvantages compared to the Da’anzhai shale. Therefore, it deserves greater attention in future exploration endeavors. The research findings presented in this paper provide a solid theoretical foundation for expanding the exploration scope of lacustrine shale in the Sichuan Basin. Full article
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18 pages, 8011 KiB  
Article
Seismic Response Variance of Depositional Sequences: Implications for Reservoir Prediction in Lacustrine Basin
by Qiaolin He, Shuwen Yang, Wenxiang He, Yong Hu, Tong Wang and Xiaoyang Gao
Processes 2023, 11(8), 2481; https://doi.org/10.3390/pr11082481 - 18 Aug 2023
Viewed by 691
Abstract
In recent years, lithologic oil and gas reservoirs have become an important target in continental hydrocarbon-bearing basins. Geophysical prospecting technology using seismic data is an indispensable tool for oil and gas exploration. However, while previous work has paid much attention to the seismic [...] Read more.
In recent years, lithologic oil and gas reservoirs have become an important target in continental hydrocarbon-bearing basins. Geophysical prospecting technology using seismic data is an indispensable tool for oil and gas exploration. However, while previous work has paid much attention to the seismic responses of reservoirs (sandstones), the seismic responses of depositional sequences composed of sandstone–mudstone cycles are not well understood in reservoir prediction. This problem seriously restricts efficient oil–gas exploration and development. The Cretaceous Baxigai Formation in the Yingmaili area, west of the Tabei Uplift, is an important exploration target for lithologic oil and gas reservoirs in the Tarim Basin. The Baxigai Formation is deeply buried with thin thickness. The Baxigai Formation in the study area is divided into a lower sandstone section and an upper mudstone section. Braided river delta sand bodies are developed in the lower sandstone section, and braided river delta sand bodies and beach bar sand bodies are developed in the upper mudstone section. According to the difference in the depositional sequences in different zones, five types of the vertical combination style of sandstone and mudstone were identified. Through seismic forward modeling, the seismic response variance of the five kinds of sequence models was established. Then, the amplitude attributes were extracted via wavelet decomposition to reflect the distribution of sandstone–mudstone in different zones. This could help predict the vertical and horizontal distributions of different depositional sequences and the sandstones in these sequences. During the sedimentary period of the upper mudstone section of the Baxigai Formation, the beach bar sand bodies were distributed along the northeast coast. The thin sand bodies pinched out along the up-dip direction to form favorable lithologic traps, which has important significance for lithologic reservoir exploration. Full article
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18 pages, 4810 KiB  
Article
The Catalytic Upgrading Performance of NiSO4 and FeSO4 in the Case of Ashal’cha Heavy Oil Reservoir
by Yasser I. I. Abdelsalam, Leysan A. Akhmetzyanova, Lilia Kh. Galiakhmetova, Gadel F. Baimukhametov, Rustam R. Davletshin, Aleksey V. Dengaev, Firdavs A. Aliev and Alexey V. Vakhin
Processes 2023, 11(8), 2426; https://doi.org/10.3390/pr11082426 - 11 Aug 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 962
Abstract
Aquathermolysis is a promising process for improving the quality of heavy oil under reservoir conditions. However, the application of catalysts during the process can significantly promote the transformation of the heavy fragments and heteroatom-containing compounds of crude oil mixtures into low-molecular-weight hydrocarbons. This [...] Read more.
Aquathermolysis is a promising process for improving the quality of heavy oil under reservoir conditions. However, the application of catalysts during the process can significantly promote the transformation of the heavy fragments and heteroatom-containing compounds of crude oil mixtures into low-molecular-weight hydrocarbons. This research paper conducted a comparative analysis of the catalytic effectiveness of water-soluble metal salts like NiSO4 and FeSO4 in the process of aquathermolysis to upgrade heavy oil samples extracted from the Ashal’cha reservoir. The temperature of the experiment was 300 °C for a duration of 24 h. Compared to the viscosity of the native crude oil, the Fe nanoparticles contributed to a 60% reduction in viscosity. The viscosity alteration is explained by the chemical changes observed in the composition of heavy oil after catalytic (FeSO4) aquathermolysis, where the asphaltene and resin contents were altered by 7% and 17%, accordingly. Moreover, the observed aquathermolytic upgrading of heavy oil in the presence of FeSO4 led to an increase in the yield of gasoline fraction by 13% and diesel fraction by 53%. The H/C ratio, which represents the hydrogenation of crude oil, increased from 1.52 (before catalytic upgrading) to 1.99 (after catalytic upgrading). The results of Chromatomass (GC MS) and Fourier-transform infrared spectroscopy (FT-IR) show the intensification of destructive hydrogenation reactions in the presence of water-soluble catalysts. According to the XRD and SEM-EDX results, the metal salts are thermally decomposed during the aquathermolysis process into the oxides of corresponding metals and are particularly sulfided by the sulfur-containing aquathermolysis products. Full article
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12 pages, 2335 KiB  
Article
Predicting Shear Wave Velocity Using a Convolutional Neural Network and Dual-Constraint Calculation for Anisotropic Parameters Incorporating Compressional and Shear Wave Velocities
by Jiaqi Liu, Zhixian Gui, Gang Gao, Yonggen Li, Qiang Wei and Yizhuo Liu
Processes 2023, 11(8), 2356; https://doi.org/10.3390/pr11082356 - 05 Aug 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 864
Abstract
As the exploration of unconventional reservoirs progresses, characterizing challenging formations like tight sandstone becomes increasingly complex. Anisotropic parameters play a vital role in accurately characterizing these unconventional reservoirs. In light of this, this paper introduces an approach that uses a dual-constraint anisotropic rock [...] Read more.
As the exploration of unconventional reservoirs progresses, characterizing challenging formations like tight sandstone becomes increasingly complex. Anisotropic parameters play a vital role in accurately characterizing these unconventional reservoirs. In light of this, this paper introduces an approach that uses a dual-constraint anisotropic rock physics model based on compressional and shear wave velocities. The proposed method aims to enhance the precision of anisotropic parameter calculations, thus improving the overall accuracy of reservoir characterization. The paper begins by applying a convolutional neural network (CNN) to predict shear wave velocity, effectively resolving the issue of incomplete shear wave logging data. Subsequently, an anisotropic rock physics model is developed specifically for tight sandstone. A comprehensive analysis is conducted to examine the influence of quartz, clay porosity aspect ratio, and fracture density on compressional and shear wave velocities. Trial calculations using the anisotropic model data demonstrated that the accuracy of calculating anisotropic parameters significantly improved when both compressional and transverse wave velocity constraints were taken into account, as opposed to relying solely on the compressional wave velocity constraint. Furthermore, the rationality of predicting anisotropic parameters using both the shear wave velocity predicted by the convolutional neural network and the measured compressional wave velocity was confirmed using the example of deep tight sandstone in the Junggar Basin. Full article
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10 pages, 835 KiB  
Article
Simulation Experiment and Mathematical Model of Liquid Carrying in the Entire Wellbore of Shale Gas Horizontal Wells
by Jian Yang, Qingrong Wang, Fengjing Sun, Haiquan Zhong and Jian Yang
Processes 2023, 11(8), 2339; https://doi.org/10.3390/pr11082339 - 03 Aug 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 681
Abstract
Shale gas is mostly produced using horizontal wells, since shale gas reservoirs have low porosity and permeability. It is challenging to predict a horizontal well’s critical liquid-carrying gas flow rate because horizontal wells have more complicated well structures and gas–liquid two-phase pipe flows [...] Read more.
Shale gas is mostly produced using horizontal wells, since shale gas reservoirs have low porosity and permeability. It is challenging to predict a horizontal well’s critical liquid-carrying gas flow rate because horizontal wells have more complicated well structures and gas–liquid two-phase pipe flows than vertical wells. In addition, there are significant differences between shale gas reservoirs and conventional natural gas reservoirs as well as dynamic changes in the liquid production rate. The majority of critical liquid-carrying models currently in use in engineering are based on the force analysis of droplets in the gas stream or liquid film on the pipe wall in annular-mist flow in the vertical wellbore. However, they do not take into account the impact of changes to the entire wellbore structure and dynamic changes in the liquid production rate on gas–liquid two-phase flow patterns and liquid carrying in the wellbore. In order to perform the critical gas velocity test for liquid carrying in the entire wellbore of horizontal wells, a visual liquid-carrying simulation experimental device for the entire wellbore of horizontal wells and a high-speed camera were used in this study. The onset of liquid accumulation was analyzed comprehensively according to the overall increase of the wellbore liquid and the change of the system pressure. A modified K–H wave theory liquid-carrying model was developed by taking into account the impacts of liquid production rate and well inclination angle based on the experimental data, the K–H wave theory, the cross-section actual gas velocity, and the angle correction correlation formula. The improved liquid-carrying model is in good accordance with the test findings, according to the experimental results. In Shunan Gas Mine, Sichuan, China, there are eight deep shale gas wells, which produced a total of 25 sets of tests. The modified model was used to forecast and diagnose the liquid-carrying capacity in the entire wellbore of these wells. The diagnosis results are in good agreement with the actual production situation, and the coincidence rate is 92%. Full article
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15 pages, 9134 KiB  
Article
Sedimentary Genesis and Model Analysis of Shale Lithofacies in Jiyang Depression
by Cunfei Ma, Shuangpeng Liu, Qi Zhao, Yongjun Fan, Yaoyao Qian, Xiantai Liu and Xinmin Ge
Processes 2023, 11(8), 2302; https://doi.org/10.3390/pr11082302 - 01 Aug 2023
Viewed by 750
Abstract
Based on core observation, rock thin sections, logging data, and testing data, taking the shale of the upper submember of the 4th Member to the lower submember of the 3rd Member of Paleogene Shahejie Formation in Jiyang Depression of Bohai Bay Basin as [...] Read more.
Based on core observation, rock thin sections, logging data, and testing data, taking the shale of the upper submember of the 4th Member to the lower submember of the 3rd Member of Paleogene Shahejie Formation in Jiyang Depression of Bohai Bay Basin as an example, we determine the lithofacies division scheme, divide the main lithofacies types, analyze the sedimentary origin and development location of different shale lithofacies, establish the continental lake basin sedimentary model, determine the types and enrichment areas of favorable lithofacies, and provide guidance for the exploration and development of Shale oil. The results show that: (1) According to the mineral composition, sedimentary structure, and organic matter abundance, the division scheme of shale lithofacies in the study area is proposed, and the shale lithofacies of the study area was mainly divided into 17 types. (2) Based on the lithologic changes, the lacustrine sedimentary shale area was divided into muddy water area, transition area, and clear water area. (3) Under the background of locally uplifted slope paleogeomorphology, considering the combined effects of climate, topography, hydrodynamic, mechanical, and chemical differentiation of sediments and biological habits, the sedimentary model of shale was established. (4) Organic-rich shale was mainly deposited between the clear water area and the end of the muddy water area, with the characteristics of water, brackish water, strong reduction, and water stratification, and was mainly enriched in the low-lying parts of paleotopography. Full article
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17 pages, 5493 KiB  
Article
Paleoenvironmental Conditions and Shale Oil Potential of the Carboniferous Ha’erjiawu Formation in the Santanghu Basin, NW China
by Shaohua Zhang, Chiyang Liu, Zhiqiang Fan, Hao Liang, Jianrong Gao, Hui Song, Wei Dang, Long Zhang and Yaning Gao
Processes 2023, 11(7), 2209; https://doi.org/10.3390/pr11072209 - 22 Jul 2023
Viewed by 805
Abstract
The Carboniferous Ha’erjiawu Formation in the Santanghu Basin represents a significant potential target for shale oil exploration, yet its characteristics remain largely unknown. This study utilizes a combination of elemental and organic geochemical analyses to investigate the paleoenvironmental conditions and shale oil potential [...] Read more.
The Carboniferous Ha’erjiawu Formation in the Santanghu Basin represents a significant potential target for shale oil exploration, yet its characteristics remain largely unknown. This study utilizes a combination of elemental and organic geochemical analyses to investigate the paleoenvironmental conditions and shale oil potential of the Carboniferous Ha’erjiawu Formation black shales within the Santanghu Basin. The results suggest that the Ha’erjiawu Formation black shales were deposited in water columns with low salinity and dysoxic conditions, as indicated by paleosalinity and redox proxies such as Rb/K, B/Ga, B content, V/Cr, V/(V + Ni), V/Al, and Mo/Al. Furthermore, the climatic proxies (Ga/Rb, Sr/Cu and K2O/Al2O3) indicate that the Santanghu Basin underwent a warm-humid/cold-dry oscillating climate during the deposition of the Ha’erjiawu Formation black shales, potentially influenced by synsedimentary volcanic activity or the Late Paleozoic glaciation. The organic geochemical analyses have revealed that the Ha’erjiawu Formation black shales are rich in type II kerogen, which is in the early mature to mature stage, indicating a significant potential for oil generation. However, there is considerable variation in the oil content of the analyzed samples, with only a few containing movable oil. Given the high abundance of brittle minerals within the Ha’erjiawu Formation black shales, it will be indispensable to meticulously evaluate and identify intervals exhibiting abundant movable oil for successful shale oil exploration and development within this geological unit. Full article
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17 pages, 12288 KiB  
Article
Study on the Applicability of Saturated Hydrocarbon Parameters in the Evaluation of Lacustrine Source Rocks and Oils Based on Thermal Simulation Experiments
by Zhijun Chen, Yaxiong Zhang, Zhigang Wen, Yonghong He, Chunming Zhang, Ge Zhang, Changchun Han and Ziliang Li
Processes 2023, 11(7), 2187; https://doi.org/10.3390/pr11072187 - 21 Jul 2023
Viewed by 704
Abstract
Saturated hydrocarbons are widely used in the valuation of source rocks and oils, but the applicability of related parameters has received less attention. Based on the thermal simulation experiments on Mesozoic source rocks in the Yingen-Ejinaqi Basin, and the GC-MS analysis of the [...] Read more.
Saturated hydrocarbons are widely used in the valuation of source rocks and oils, but the applicability of related parameters has received less attention. Based on the thermal simulation experiments on Mesozoic source rocks in the Yingen-Ejinaqi Basin, and the GC-MS analysis of the saturated hydrocarbon fractions of the expelled oils and extracts from solid residues, the applicability of the parameters related to lacustrine source rocks and oil were discussed. The results indicated that: Controlled by thermal degradation, both the relative abundance of the tricyclic terpenoids in terpenoids and the pregnane (including L pregnane) in steroids increased with the increase in maturity. Maturity had little effect on some environmental parameters of lacustrine source rocks and oils, such as Pr/Ph and gammacerane index, they were still effective even at the high-over maturity stage. But maturity had a significant influence on the method of using saturated hydrocarbons to identify the source of organic matter, because only at the thermal stage of Ro < 1.45%, might it effectively identify the source of organic matter by using the dominant peak of n-alkanes method and the relative abundance of C27–C29 steranes method. Most saturated hydrocarbon maturity parameters had their valid scope of application, such as C29 20S/(20S + 20R) steranes, C29αββ/(ααα + αββ) steranes and C31αβ22S/(22S + 22R) homohopanes were only effective when the Ro value was below 2.06%, for the parameter’s value would be “inverted” in the stage of over-maturity (Ro > 2.06%). However, the parameter Ts/(Ts + Tm) was effective in the whole thermal evolution process, reflecting good applicability. This study clarifies the validity of the application of commonly used saturated hydrocarbon parameters, and it can provide some reference for relevant studies. Full article
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13 pages, 1363 KiB  
Article
Geological Characteristics of Shale Reservoir of Pingdiquan Formation in Huoshaoshan Area, Junggar Basin
by Huaibao Xu, Mawutihan Madina, Shaohui Yu, Ze Wang, Huanghui Cheng and Tao Jiang
Processes 2023, 11(7), 2126; https://doi.org/10.3390/pr11072126 - 17 Jul 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 623
Abstract
Unconventional oil and gas, represented by shale gas and shale oil, have occupied an important position in global energy. The rapid growth of shale gas and shale oil production shows great potential for the exploration and development of shale resources. Junggar basin, the [...] Read more.
Unconventional oil and gas, represented by shale gas and shale oil, have occupied an important position in global energy. The rapid growth of shale gas and shale oil production shows great potential for the exploration and development of shale resources. Junggar basin, the main oil-bearing basin in China, is rich in oil and gas resources, so it is of great practical significance to carry out systematic research on the geological characteristics of shale reservoirs in this region. To this end, this paper designates the shale reservoir of Pingdiquan Formation in Huoshaoshan area of the Jungar Basin as the research object, carries out a geological survey in that area, analyzes reservoir forming conditions using the geological interpretation method, analyzes different local trap reservoir types and their main control factors by dissecting the explored reservoir, optimizes and evaluates favorable traps using the source, fault, facies and circle coupling analysis method, establishes single good identification standard of sedimentary microfacies, and carries out well-connected sedimentary microfacies analysis. Using geochemical methods, such as rock pyrolysis, maceral analysis, vitrinite reflectance, kerogen carbon isotope, saturated hydrocarbon chromatography, etc., the abundance and types of organic matter of shale in different intervals are analyzed and the geological characteristics of shale reservoirs are evaluated. This paper aims to analyze the oil and gas content of the shale reservoir in Pingdiquan Formation in the Junggar Basin to provide reliable reservoir evaluation and guide better development of shale oil and gas resources in the future. The innovative expenditure of this paper lies in conducting the research from two aspects: the analysis of the main controlling factors of reservoir formation from the structural point of view and the analysis of the pore structure and geochemical characteristics of shale from the core experiment point of view, and also the classification of organic matter, so as to provide a basis for finding favorable traps. The results show that the shale sedimentary system in the study area is a small fluvial delta, which belongs to a compression structure, with developed NNE-oriented structural belts and faults; the structural form is a short-axis anticline as a whole, forming a structural coil closure at −900 m, with a trap area of 50 km2 and a closure height of 180 m. According to the geological interpretation method, 19 faults of all levels were found in the area and the vertical migration conditions of oil and gas were good. Pingdiquan Formation was oil-bearing, with many vertical oil-bearing strata and strong horizontal independence of the reservoir. The sedimentary thickness of the Permian Pingdiquan Formation in the study area is 300~1200 m and the oil-bearing strata are divided into 3 oil-bearing formations, 9 sublayers, and 22 monolayers from top to bottom. The abundance of organic matter in different strata is generally high, with an average total organic carbon content of 3.53%, an average hydrocarbon generation potential of 18.1 mg/g, an average chloroform asphalt content of 0.57%, and an average total hydrocarbon content of 3011 μg/g, all of which belong to the shale standard, especially Ping-2. The organic matter in different layers belongs to types I-II1, and the organic matter types are I-II1, I-II2, and II1-II2, respectively. The average carbon isotope of shale kerogen is −2.4%, which belongs to type II2 kerogen. Full article
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20 pages, 6450 KiB  
Article
Application and Comparison of Machine Learning Methods for Mud Shale Petrographic Identification
by Ruhao Liu, Lei Zhang, Xinrui Wang, Xuejuan Zhang, Xingzhou Liu, Xin He, Xiaoming Zhao, Dianshi Xiao and Zheng Cao
Processes 2023, 11(7), 2042; https://doi.org/10.3390/pr11072042 - 07 Jul 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 785
Abstract
Machine learning is the main technical means for lithofacies logging identification. As the main target of shale oil spatial distribution prediction, mud shale petrography is subjected to the constraints of stratigraphic inhomogeneity and logging information redundancy. Therefore, choosing the most applicable machine learning [...] Read more.
Machine learning is the main technical means for lithofacies logging identification. As the main target of shale oil spatial distribution prediction, mud shale petrography is subjected to the constraints of stratigraphic inhomogeneity and logging information redundancy. Therefore, choosing the most applicable machine learning method for different geological characteristics and data situations is one of the key aspects of high-precision lithofacies identification. However, only a few studies have been conducted on the applicability of machine learning methods for mud shale petrography. This paper aims to identify lithofacies using commonly used machine learning methods. The study employs five supervised learning algorithms, namely Random Forest Algorithm (RF), BP Neural Network Algorithm (BPANN), Gradient Boosting Decision Tree Method (GBDT), Nearest Neighbor Method (KNN), and Vector Machine Method (SVM), as well as four unsupervised learning algorithms, namely K-means, DBSCAN, SOM, and MRGC. The results are evaluated using the confusion matrix, which provides the accuracy of each algorithm. The GBDT algorithm has better accuracy in supervised learning, while the K-means and DBSCAN algorithms have higher accuracy in unsupervised learning. Based on the comparison of different algorithms, it can be concluded that shale lithofacies identification poses challenges due to limited sample data and high overlapping degree of type distribution areas. Therefore, selecting the appropriate algorithm is crucial. Although supervised machine learning algorithms are generally accurate, they are limited by the data volume of lithofacies samples. Future research should focus on how to make the most of limited samples for supervised learning and combine unsupervised learning algorithms to explore lithofacies types of non-coring wells. Full article
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13 pages, 7900 KiB  
Article
Research on Formation Pressure Prediction Method for Ultra-Deep Tight Sandstone Based on Collocated Cokriging
by Qiang Wei, Yaoting Lin, Gang Gao, Zhixian Gui, Zhendong Wu and Jiaqi Liu
Processes 2023, 11(7), 2010; https://doi.org/10.3390/pr11072010 - 05 Jul 2023
Viewed by 759
Abstract
Compared to conventional reservoirs, the prediction of pressure in ultra-deep tight sandstone formations is difficult. The prediction of seismic pressure is more challenging than well-logging pressure prediction. The main methods for seismic pressure prediction include the equivalent depth method, Eaton method, Fillippone formula, [...] Read more.
Compared to conventional reservoirs, the prediction of pressure in ultra-deep tight sandstone formations is difficult. The prediction of seismic pressure is more challenging than well-logging pressure prediction. The main methods for seismic pressure prediction include the equivalent depth method, Eaton method, Fillippone formula, and modified versions. Among them, the Eaton method is widely used and has good effectiveness. However, this method relies on difficult-to-obtain normal compaction trend lines, which leads to low prediction accuracy in space. To address this issue, a method combining the Eaton method and collocated cokriging is proposed. Herein, the Eaton formula is used to predict formation pressure at the well, with compressional wave velocity as the covariate for predicting the main variable—formation pressure. By simulating the shear wave velocity based on seismic compressional wave velocity, the influence of various parameters on the prediction results is analyzed, and the accuracy of this method is verified by comparing it with other methods. The proposed method is then applied to predict formation pressure in the ultra-deep formations of the Junggar Basin. The simulation results show that the collocated cokriging method achieves higher planar accuracy and better matches the experimental expectations in terms of prediction results. The application results also demonstrate the scientific effectiveness of the combined method, which has achieved good results in practical production applications. Full article
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17 pages, 14542 KiB  
Article
Lacustrine Shale Diagenesis—A Case Study of the Second Member of the Funing Formation in the Subei Basin
by Shuping Wang, Cunfei Ma, Xue Sun and Shili Liu
Processes 2023, 11(7), 2009; https://doi.org/10.3390/pr11072009 - 05 Jul 2023
Viewed by 768
Abstract
Shale diagenesis differs from that of sandstone and carbonate rocks with regard to the type, evolution stage, and evolution mode. The quality of shale reservoirs is closely linked to the extent of diagenetic evolution. This study identifies the types and characteristics of shale [...] Read more.
Shale diagenesis differs from that of sandstone and carbonate rocks with regard to the type, evolution stage, and evolution mode. The quality of shale reservoirs is closely linked to the extent of diagenetic evolution. This study identifies the types and characteristics of shale diagenesis using thin sections and scanning electron microscopy (SEM) observations. The stages of shale diagenesis are determined by analyzing organic matter evolution and clay mineral transformation and establishing a diagenetic evolution sequence. This paper describes the comprehensive diagenetic evolution of organic matter, clay minerals, clastic particles, and carbonate minerals to determine the diagenesis types, diagenetic sequences, and pore evolution occurring during diagenetic evolution. The results show that the diagenesis types of shale in the second member of the Funing Formation include compaction, dissolution, cementation, metasomatism, dolomitization, syneresis, and transformation of clay minerals, as well as thermal evolution of organic matter. The middle diagenetic A stage is prevalent, with some areas in the early and middle diagenetic B stages. The shale underwent a diagenetic evolution sequence, including the collapse and shrinkage of montmorillonite interlayers in the early stage; the rapid formation and transformation of illite and smectite mixed layers, massive hydrocarbon generation of organic matters, and dissolution of unstable components in the middle stage; and the occurrence of fractures filled with gypsum, quartz, ferrocalcite, or other authigenic minerals in the later stage. Dissolution pores and fractures are the dominant shale reservoirs of the second member of the Funing Formation in the Subei Basin. The results provide new insights into understanding the formation and evolution of reservoir spaces during shale diagenesis and information for the exploration and development of lacustrine shale oil and gas. Full article
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16 pages, 9545 KiB  
Article
Turbidite Fan Deposits in Gentle Slope Zones of Continental Faulted Basins: A Case Study from the Chezhen Depression, Bohai Bay Basin
by Junyang Cheng, Xianke He, Dongping Duan and Jingzhe Li
Processes 2023, 11(7), 2001; https://doi.org/10.3390/pr11072001 - 03 Jul 2023
Viewed by 747
Abstract
Turbidite fans, serving as good reservoirs for petroleum accumulation, are typically formed during deep faulting periods in continental basins, particularly in steep slope zones. However, gentle slope zones are also significant and unique for the formation of turbidite fans. These turbidite fans hold [...] Read more.
Turbidite fans, serving as good reservoirs for petroleum accumulation, are typically formed during deep faulting periods in continental basins, particularly in steep slope zones. However, gentle slope zones are also significant and unique for the formation of turbidite fans. These turbidite fans hold immense importance in exploring concealed lithological reservoirs. Taking the Chezhen Depression of Bohai Bay Basin as an example, we conducted a comprehensive study of the turbidite fan deposits in the gentle slope zone. Our results indicate that (1) small-scale distal-source turbidite fans are a common sedimentary type in the Chezhen Depression of the Bohai Bay Basin; (2) the study area is mainly characterized by seven lithofacies; (3) there are incomplete Bouma sequences in the study interval. This study is an important turbidite investigation into continental faulted basins, and it can also provide an important reference value for exploration and development in unconventional reservoirs of the same type. Full article
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20 pages, 22763 KiB  
Article
Carboniferous Shale Gas Accumulation Characteristics and Exploration Directions in South China
by Kun Yuan, Wenhui Huang, Bing Feng, Long Li, Shizhen Li, Xinxin Fang, Xiaoguang Yang, Qiuchen Xu, Rong Chen and Xianglin Chen
Processes 2023, 11(7), 1896; https://doi.org/10.3390/pr11071896 - 24 Jun 2023
Viewed by 786
Abstract
China has focused on the exploration and development of shale gas resources to reduce its reliance on coal and shift to cleaner energy sources. While significant progress has been made in the Sichuan Basin, unlocking the shale gas potential in other regions of [...] Read more.
China has focused on the exploration and development of shale gas resources to reduce its reliance on coal and shift to cleaner energy sources. While significant progress has been made in the Sichuan Basin, unlocking the shale gas potential in other regions of South China has proven challenging due to the complex geology and mountainous terrain. In 2021, Well QSD-1 was deployed in southwestern Guizhou and achieved a daily shale gas flow of 11,011 m3 in the Dawuba Formation, marking the first time an industrial gas flow had been obtained from shale gas drilling in the marine strata of the Upper Paleozoic in China. This breakthrough has deepened the understanding of the southern China Carboniferous marine strata and highlighted key aspects of the formation: (1) Sedimentation occurred in alternating platforms and basins, with most organic-rich shale developed in sloping and basin areas; (2) the formation exhibits favorable static indicators, with a relatively thick section (over 200 m), and an organic carbon content of approximately 1%; (3) the intercalation of argillaceous limestone and shale intervals is conducive to the preservation of shale gas within the formation. These results demonstrate the potential for the Upper Paleozoic in South China to become a significant shale gas producer, which could contribute significantly to China’s energy security. Furthermore, exploring shale gas in the region may have positive economic and environmental impacts, including reducing China’s dependence on coal and decreasing greenhouse gas emissions. Full article
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25 pages, 6689 KiB  
Article
Analysis Method of Full-Scale Pore Distribution Based on MICP, CT Scanning, NMR, and Cast Thin Section Imaging—A Case Study of Paleogene Sandstone in Xihu Sag, East China Sea Basin
by Jinlong Chen, Zhilong Huang, Genshun Yao, Weiwei Zhang, Yongshuai Pan and Tong Qu
Processes 2023, 11(7), 1869; https://doi.org/10.3390/pr11071869 - 21 Jun 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1052
Abstract
Using different experimental methods, the pore radius ranges vary greatly, and most scholars use a single experiment to study pore structure, which is rarely consistent with reality. Moreover, the numerical models used in different experiments vary and cannot be directly compared. This article [...] Read more.
Using different experimental methods, the pore radius ranges vary greatly, and most scholars use a single experiment to study pore structure, which is rarely consistent with reality. Moreover, the numerical models used in different experiments vary and cannot be directly compared. This article uniformly revised all experimental data into a cylinder model. Quantitative analysis of the full-scale pore distribution is established by mercury withdrawal–CT data, and semi-quantitative distribution is obtained by mercury–NMR–cast thin section imaging. In this paper, we introduce the tortuosity index (τ) to convert the CT ball-and-stick model into a cylinder model, and the pore shape factor (η) of the cast is used to convert the plane model into the cylinder model; the mercury withdrawal data is applied to void the influence of narrow throat cavities, and the NMR pore radius distribution is obtained using the mercury-T2 calibration method. Studies have shown that the thickness of bound water is 0.35~0.4 μm, so the pores with different radius ranges were controlled by different mechanisms in the NMR tests, with pores < 0.35~0.4 μm completely controlled by surface relaxation, including strong bound water and weak bound water; pores in the 0.4~4 μm reange were controlled by surface relaxation; and pores > 10 μm were completely controlled by free relaxation. The surface relaxivity rate of fine sandstone was 18~20 μm/s. The tortuosity index τ was generally 1~7; the larger the value, the more irregular the pores. The pore shape factor η was generally 0.2~0.5; the smaller the value, the more irregular the pores. Mercury withdrawal–CT scan data can quantitatively determine the pore radius distribution curve. The coefficient of the logarithm is positive considering porosity, and the constant is negative considering porosity. Permeability controls the maximum pore radius, with a max pore radius > 100 μm and a permeability > 1 mD. Mercury withdrawal–NMR–cast thin section imaging data can semi-quantitatively establish a pore radius distribution histogram. The histogram represents quasi-normal, stepped, and unimodal data. When 60 μm is the inflection point, if a large proportion of pores measure > 60 μm, good reservoir quality is indicated. If a large proportion of pores measures < 60 μm, the permeability is generally <0.5 mD. Full article
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23 pages, 6620 KiB  
Article
Production Capacity Variations of Horizontal Wells in Tight Reservoirs Controlled by the Structural Characteristics of Composite Sand Bodies: Fuyu Formation in the Qian’an Area of the Songliao Basin as an Example
by Ruhao Liu, Yu Sun, Xinrui Wang, Baiquan Yan, Limin Yu and Zhao Li
Processes 2023, 11(6), 1824; https://doi.org/10.3390/pr11061824 - 15 Jun 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 728
Abstract
In order to improve the combined exploitation efficiency of horizontal and vertical wells, and given the fact that the complex and varied spatial structure of sand bodies in the Fuyu oil layer in the Qian’an area of Songliao Basin leads to significant differences [...] Read more.
In order to improve the combined exploitation efficiency of horizontal and vertical wells, and given the fact that the complex and varied spatial structure of sand bodies in the Fuyu oil layer in the Qian’an area of Songliao Basin leads to significant differences in production characteristics of horizontal wells, the sand body types and internal spatial structure are finely dissected according to the theory of configuration analysis, and the internal spatial structure is divided into three configuration styles: spatial clipping type, overlapping type, and separation type. Then, by comparing the productivity characteristics of horizontal wells with different configurations of sand bodies, combined with the analysis of fluid flow law under horizontal well volume fracturing, a main fracture–fracture network–matrix coupled fluid flow model in a tight reservoir based on composite sand body configuration is established. Combined with the actual volume fracturing the horizontal well area, the productivity curves of each cluster in the horizontal section after numerical simulation of volume fracturing of typical horizontal well groups are extracted, which are divided into four types: high-yield stable type, high-yield two-stage type, high-yield rapid-decline type, and low-yield rapid-decline type, and the coupling relationship between the productivity characteristics of each cluster in the horizontal well volume fracturing and sand body configuration style is established, which provides a theoretical basis for the adjustment of different sand body development methods in subsequent oilfields. Full article
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19 pages, 5634 KiB  
Article
Gas–Water Characteristics of Tight Sandstone in Xihu Sag, East China Sea Basin under Different Charging Models
by Jinlong Chen, Zhilong Huang, Genshun Yao and Hongche Fan
Processes 2023, 11(5), 1310; https://doi.org/10.3390/pr11051310 - 24 Apr 2023
Viewed by 895
Abstract
The Xihu sag has two main oil−gas fields: Huagang Gas Field and Pinghu Oil Field. The Huagang formation is the reservoir of the Huagang Gas Field in the Central Tectonic Zone, while the Pinghu formation is the reservoir of the Pinghu Oil Field [...] Read more.
The Xihu sag has two main oil−gas fields: Huagang Gas Field and Pinghu Oil Field. The Huagang formation is the reservoir of the Huagang Gas Field in the Central Tectonic Zone, while the Pinghu formation is the reservoir of the Pinghu Oil Field in the Western Slope Zone. In this paper, which mainly focusses on the Huagang formation, we conducted gas-driven water displacement–magnetic resonance imaging (GWD-MRI) experiments to simulate the charging characteristics of the sandstone migration layer, centrifugal magnetic resonance (Cen-NMR) experiments to simulate the short-term rapid trap charging process, and semi-permeable baffle (SPB) charging experiments to simulate the slow trap accumulation process. The results indicate that a start-up pressure exists for migration layer charging, where the start-up pressure for a core with a permeability of 0.3 mD is about 0.6 MPa. Our experimental simulations confirm that a planar front of changing water saturation exists, which has a width of about 1–1.5 cm. Migration layer charging is mainly influenced by two actions: the drive effect and the carrying effect. The drive effect can reduce the water saturation to 70–80%, while the carrying effect can further reduce the water saturation by 5–10%. The water saturation in the rapid charging scenario is mainly affected by the petrophysical characteristics of the rock: if the porosity is high, the water saturation is low. The water saturation decreases significantly with the increase in centrifugal force when the centrifugal force is small; however, when the centrifugal force is greater than 0.8 MPa, the water saturation decreases slowly. In the slowly charging trap experiment, the water saturation was basically stable at 40–50%, which matched the measured water saturation of the airtight cores well (ranging from 40–55%), and the petrophysical characteristics of the rock did not have a significant effect on the final water saturation. Full article
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20 pages, 9117 KiB  
Essay
Experimental Study on the Coefficient of Internal Frictional Resistance in the Annular Gap during the Plunger Gas Lift Process
by Haowen Shi, Zhong Chen, Ruiquan Liao, Jie Liu, Junliang Li and Shan Jin
Processes 2023, 11(11), 3246; https://doi.org/10.3390/pr11113246 - 17 Nov 2023
Viewed by 584
Abstract
Plunger gas lift process technology is an economical solution to the problem of gas well liquid buildup. However, in-house simulation experiments revealed that the high-speed movement of the plunger may lead to fluid leakage and generate annular gap frictional resistance. To address this [...] Read more.
Plunger gas lift process technology is an economical solution to the problem of gas well liquid buildup. However, in-house simulation experiments revealed that the high-speed movement of the plunger may lead to fluid leakage and generate annular gap frictional resistance. To address this issue, a detailed experimental study was conducted to comparatively analyze five existing frictional-resistance models, which were found to have significant deviations. Therefore, we propose a new model of annular gap frictional resistance and validate it with experimental data, and the results show that the new model is more accurate and reliable. We also conducted a comparative analysis of production-site examples by using VB programming and found that when considering the annular gap frictional resistance, the upward travel time of the plunger was delayed, the difference between the upper and lower end face pressures was significant, and the difference in speed was 1.73 m/s. This indicates that the annular gap frictional resistance cannot be ignored and is crucial for optimizing plunger gas lift process technology and improving the drainage efficiency of gas wells. Full article
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