Topic Editors

School of Earth Resources, China University of Geosciences, Wuhan 430079, China
Dr. Zhiye Gao
Unconventional Petroleum Research Institute, China University of Petroleum (Beijing), Beijing 102200, China
School of Earth Resources, China University of Geosciences, Wuhan 430079, China

Hydrocarbon Generation and Accumulation in Unconventional Shale Reservoir: Up-to-Date Advances in Theory, Experiment, Method and Application, Volume II

Abstract submission deadline
closed (31 March 2024)
Manuscript submission deadline
31 May 2024
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Topic Information

Dear Colleagues,

Over the past three decades, significant advances in drilling and completion technologies (e.g., horizontal drilling coupled with large-scale, multistage hydraulic stimulation) have greatly promoted the cost-effective production of hydrocarbon (natural gas and crude oil) from low-permeability shale formations in the many countries (e.g., the USA, Canada, and China). The large volume of natural gas and liquid oil within shale rocks has been the focus of hydrocarbon exploration and development in many petroliferous basins, which has also transformed the global energy outlook. However, there are still many scientific issues implicating the efficient extraction and sustainable development of these unconventional resources, including hydrocarbon generation, storage, and accumulation in shale reservoir. Therefore, Minerals would like to announce a Topic on hydrocarbon generation and accumulation in unconventional shale reservoirs and invites contributions that present up-to-date advances in relevant theory, experiments, and methods, as well as their successful applications in the exploration of these unconventional resources. Original research and review articles are welcome.

Prof. Dr. Rui Yang
Dr. Zhiye Gao
Dr. Yuguang Hou
Topic Editors

Keywords

  • diagenesis and sedimentation process of shale rocks
  • organic geochemistry, mineralogy, and petrophysical properties and shale geomechanics
  • organic matter enrichment and accumulation mechanism
  • geochemical and isotopic characteristics of kerogen, bitumen, oil, and gas
  • genesis and evolution of multiscale pores of shale reservoirs
  • multiscale pore structure characterization for shale rocks
  • hydrocarbon generation, migration, expulsion, and retention processes in shale reservoir
  • fluid flow and fluid–shale interactions in multiscale
  • hydrocarbon accumulation and depletion mechanisms in shale reservoir

Participating Journals

Journal Name Impact Factor CiteScore Launched Year First Decision (median) APC
Energies
energies
3.2 5.5 2008 16.1 Days CHF 2600 Submit
Geosciences
geosciences
2.7 5.2 2011 23.6 Days CHF 1800 Submit
Minerals
minerals
2.5 3.9 2011 18.7 Days CHF 2400 Submit

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Published Papers (6 papers)

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14 pages, 5130 KiB  
Article
Organic Matter Enrichment Mechanisms in the Lower Cambrian Shale: A Case Study from Xiangandi #1 Well
by Lei Zhou, Xingqiang Feng, Linyan Zhang and Lin Wu
Minerals 2024, 14(2), 183; https://doi.org/10.3390/min14020183 - 08 Feb 2024
Viewed by 598
Abstract
In order to investigate the effect of primary productivity, organic matter dilution, and preservation on the accumulation of organic matter, geochemical data, and proxies of primary productivity, clastic influx, and redox conditions were obtained for organic-rich shales in the Cambrian Niutitang Formation. The [...] Read more.
In order to investigate the effect of primary productivity, organic matter dilution, and preservation on the accumulation of organic matter, geochemical data, and proxies of primary productivity, clastic influx, and redox conditions were obtained for organic-rich shales in the Cambrian Niutitang Formation. The primary productivity (total organic carbon [TOC], Mo, P, Ba, and Babio) and redox (Ni/Co, V/Cr, U/Al, and Th/U) proxies suggest the organic-rich shales were deposited in anoxic-euxinic conditions during periods of high primary productivity. Pyrite in the Niutitang Formation comprises spherical framboids, which also indicate that anoxic bottom waters were present during organic matter deposition. High primary productivity enhanced the organic C flux into the thermocline layer and bottom waters, which lead to the development of anoxic bottom waters owing to O2 consumption by microorganisms and organic matter degradation. The anoxic bottom waters were beneficial for the preservation of organic matter. In addition, Ti/Al ratios correlate well with TOC contents throughout the Niutitang Formation, indicating that clastic input increased the burial rate and prevented organic matter degradation during deposition. Therefore, the accumulation of organic matter in the Niutitang Formation was controlled mainly by primary productivity rather than bottom-water redox conditions. Full article
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22 pages, 23084 KiB  
Article
Comparative Study of the Characteristics of Lower Cambrian Marine Shale and Their Gas-Bearing Controlling Factors in the Middle and Lower Yangtze Areas, South China
by Hezheng Dong, Dongsheng Zhou, Ziyan Deng and Xiaowei Huang
Minerals 2024, 14(1), 31; https://doi.org/10.3390/min14010031 - 28 Dec 2023
Viewed by 633
Abstract
This study comparatively analyzed the geological, geochemical, reservoir, and gas-bearing characteristics of the lower Cambrian marine shale in the Middle and Lower Yangtze regions. The main factors controlling the gas-bearing properties of the shales were identified, and the favorable and unfavorable conditions for [...] Read more.
This study comparatively analyzed the geological, geochemical, reservoir, and gas-bearing characteristics of the lower Cambrian marine shale in the Middle and Lower Yangtze regions. The main factors controlling the gas-bearing properties of the shales were identified, and the favorable and unfavorable conditions for shale gas accumulation are discussed. The results show that the organic carbon contents and thermal evolution degree of the organic matter in the lower Cambrian marine shale in the Lower Yangtze area were higher than those generally found in the Middle Yangtze area. The brittle mineral composition of the Middle Yangtze area was typically low silicon and high calcium, whereas the Lower Yangtze area was characterized by high silicon and low calcium. The development of micropores in the Lower Yangtze area was poorer than in the Middle Yangtze area, with the organic pores being particularly underdeveloped. The adsorption capacity of shale in the Lower Yangtze area was obviously higher than in the Middle Yangtze area. It was considered that the organic carbon content, thermal evolution degree, and molecular structure of kerogen were the main factors that controlled the adsorption properties of the shale. In addition, the Lower Yangtze area suffered a stronger tectonic transformation and frequent magmatic activity, and the preservation conditions were inferior to those in the Middle Yangtze area. Full article
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19 pages, 10421 KiB  
Article
Micropore Structure of Deep Shales from the Wufeng–Longmaxi Formations, Southern Sichuan Basin, China: Insight into the Vertical Heterogeneity and Controlling Factors
by Hongzhi Yang, Shengxian Zhao, Bo Li, Yong Liu, Majia Zheng, Jian Zhang, Yongyang Liu, Gaoxiang Wang, Meixuan Yin and Lieyan Cao
Minerals 2023, 13(10), 1347; https://doi.org/10.3390/min13101347 - 23 Oct 2023
Viewed by 710
Abstract
The microscopic pore throat structure of shale reservoir rocks directly affects the reservoir seepage capacity. The occurrence and flow channels of shale gas are mainly micron–nanometer pore throats. Therefore, to clarify the microstructural characteristics and influencing factors of the deep organic-rich shales, a [...] Read more.
The microscopic pore throat structure of shale reservoir rocks directly affects the reservoir seepage capacity. The occurrence and flow channels of shale gas are mainly micron–nanometer pore throats. Therefore, to clarify the microstructural characteristics and influencing factors of the deep organic-rich shales, a study is conducted on the marine shale from the Upper Silurian to Lower Ordovician Wufeng–Longmaxi Formation in the southern Sichuan Basin. Petrographic lithofacies division is carried out in combination with petro-mineralogical characteristics, and a high-resolution scanning electron microscope, low-temperature nitrogen and low-temperature carbon dioxide adsorption, and micron-computed tomography are used to characterize the mineral composition and pore structure qualitatively and quantitatively, upon which the influencing factors of the microstructure are further analyzed. The results show that with the increase in burial depth, the total organic carbon content and siliceous mineral content decrease in the Wufeng formation to Long-11 subsection deep shale, while clay mineral content increases, which corresponds to the change in sedimentary environment from anoxic to oxidizing environment. Unexpectedly, the total pore volume of deep shale does not decrease with the increase in burial depth but increases first and then decreases. Using total organic carbon (TOC), siliceous mineral content showed a good correlation with total pore volume and specific surface area, with correlation coefficients greater than 0.7, confirming the predominant role of these two factors in controlling the pore structure of deep shales. This is mainly because the Longmaxi shale is already in the late diagenetic stage, and organic matter pores are generated in large quantities. Clay minerals have a negative correlation with the total pore volume of shale, and the correlation coefficient is 0.7591. It could be that clay minerals are much more flexible and are easily deformed to block the pores under compaction. In addition, the longitudinal heterogeneity of the deep shale reservoir structure in southern Sichuan is also controlled by the thermal effect of the Emei mantle plume on hydrocarbon generation of organic matter and the development of natural microfractures promoted by multistage tectonic movement. Overall, the complex microstructure in the deep shales of the Longmaxi Formation in the southern Sichuan Basin is jointly controlled by multiple effects, and the results of this research provide strong support for the benefit development of deep shale gas in southern Sichuan Basin. Full article
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19 pages, 3928 KiB  
Article
Sedimentary Environment and Organic Accumulation of the Ordovician–Silurian Black Shale in Weiyuan, Sichuan Basin, China
by Wei Fu, Wangshui Hu, Quansheng Cai, Sile Wei, Jiachao She, Xiaochen Wang and Xiaodong Liu
Minerals 2023, 13(9), 1161; https://doi.org/10.3390/min13091161 - 31 Aug 2023
Viewed by 760
Abstract
The sedimentary environment and organic matter enrichment relationship of the Upper Ordovician Wufeng Formation black shale, Guanyinqiao mudstone, and Lower Silurian Longmaxi Formation black shale in the Sichuan Basin of Weiyuan are analyzed using geochemical methods such as organic carbon, sulfur, major elements, [...] Read more.
The sedimentary environment and organic matter enrichment relationship of the Upper Ordovician Wufeng Formation black shale, Guanyinqiao mudstone, and Lower Silurian Longmaxi Formation black shale in the Sichuan Basin of Weiyuan are analyzed using geochemical methods such as organic carbon, sulfur, major elements, and trace elements. The experimental results illustrate that the upper section of the Wufeng Formation and the lower section of the Longmaxi Formation are organic matter enrichment layers. The presence of P indicates a high productivity level in the Sichuan Basin from the Late Ordovician to the Early Silurian. In addition, indicators such as V/Cr, Ni/Co, and S/C suggest that the Wufeng Formation was deposited under anoxic reductive conditions, that the ice age Guanyinqiao segment was in an oxygen-rich to oxygen-poor environment, and that the Longmaxi Formation was in a sulfidic environment. Mo/TOC indicates that the Wufeng Formation shale was controlled by a restricted basin and that the Guanyinqiao segment and the Longmaxi Formation were in a medium-to-weak retention environment. The weak correlation of TOC with P/Al and Al indicates that the level of primary productivity and terrigenous detritus had a minor effect on the organic matter enrichment of the Wufeng and Longmaxi Formation black shale. Conversely, the positive correlation of TOC with V/Cr and Ni/Co illustrates that the anoxic reductive sedimentary environment is the main factor affecting the organic matter enrichment of the Wufeng and Longmaxi Formation black shale. Based on these studies, the development model of organic-rich shales of the Ordovician–Silurian in Weiyuan, Sichuan Basin is proposed. This paper may provide a reference for shale gas exploration in the Wufeng–Longmaxi Formation and a sedimentary response to the major geological events of Ordovician–Silurian. Full article
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17 pages, 11563 KiB  
Article
Study on the Sedimentary Environments and Its Implications of Shale Reservoirs for Permian Longtan Formation in the Southeast Sichuan Basin
by Yana Chen, Xuewen Shi, Hao Xu, Qian Cao, Xiangyang Pei, Wei Wu, Linqi Wang and Xue Yang
Minerals 2023, 13(5), 689; https://doi.org/10.3390/min13050689 - 18 May 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 992
Abstract
Marine–continental transitional shale is one of the most promising targets for shale gas exploration in the Lower Yangtze region. To investigate the sedimentary environments and the regularity of the enrichment of the Longtan shale, multiple techniques including core and thin-section observations, geochemical and [...] Read more.
Marine–continental transitional shale is one of the most promising targets for shale gas exploration in the Lower Yangtze region. To investigate the sedimentary environments and the regularity of the enrichment of the Longtan shale, multiple techniques including core and thin-section observations, geochemical and elemental analyses, X-ray diffraction, scanning electron microscopy (SEM), and low-pressure nitrogen adsorption (LPNA) were used to analyze the sedimentology, mineralogy, and pore structure of the Longtan shale. The core descriptions and thin-section observations showed that the Longtan shale was deposited in marine–delta transitional environments including delta-front, shore swamp, mixed tidal flat and shallow shelf environments. The Sr/Cu, V/Cr, CIA, EF (Mo), EF (U), and other major and trace element results indicated warm and moist climates and water-reducing conditions in the Longtan period. Both the climate and water conditions were favorable for organic matter production and preservation. The geochemical results showed that the Longtan shale was in the overmature stage (Ro values ranging from 2.4% to 3.57%) and that the average total organic carbon (TOC) content was 5.76%. The pore system of the Longtan shale consisted of inorganic pores with a small number of organic pores and microfractures. The porosity and specific surface area were mainly affected by the TOC and clay mineral contents. An effective combination of brittle mineral particles, organic matter, and clay minerals provided the necessary conditions for pore preservation. The organic pores, intergranular pores in clay minerals, and brittle mineral pores formed the main network system for the Longtan shale. In summary, the lithological combinations, organic geochemistry, and pore structure system were all affected by the sedimentary environments. Full article
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17 pages, 5949 KiB  
Article
The Depositional Environment of the Lacustrine Source Rocks in the Eocene Middle Number of the Liushagang Formation of the Weixinan Sag, Beibuwan Basin, China: Implications from Organic Geochemical Analyses
by Xiaoyong Yang, Xiaoxia Lv, Yahao Huang, Yunlong He, Rui Yang, Ruyue Wang and Peng Peng
Minerals 2023, 13(4), 575; https://doi.org/10.3390/min13040575 - 20 Apr 2023
Viewed by 1184
Abstract
The Eocene middle number of the Liushagang Formation (LS2) of the Weixinan Sag, Beibuwan Basin, characterized by a thick succession of excellent quality source rocks, is composed of lacustrine organic-rich shales, mudstones, and shales (mudstones/shales). However, the complex and specific depositional environment in [...] Read more.
The Eocene middle number of the Liushagang Formation (LS2) of the Weixinan Sag, Beibuwan Basin, characterized by a thick succession of excellent quality source rocks, is composed of lacustrine organic-rich shales, mudstones, and shales (mudstones/shales). However, the complex and specific depositional environment in the source rocks of LS2 raise questions about the mainly controlling factors of lacustrine organic matter (OM) accumulation. In this study, total organic carbon (TOC) contents, Rock-Eval pyrolysis, as well as biomarker data are used to investigate the nature of the depositional environment and the enrichment mechanism of OM in the source rocks of LS2. The values of Tmax, CPI, C29 steranes αββ/(ααα+αββ), and the 22S/(22S+22R) ratios of the 17α, 21β(H)-C31 hopane together confirm that the OM in the source rocks of LS2 is immature to of low maturity, which suggests that the nature of biomarkers may not be affected by thermal maturity. The hydrocarbon potential was higher in the organic-rich shales (with a mean of 20.99 mg/g) than in the mudstones/shales (with a mean of 7.10 mg/g). The OM in organic-rich shales is type I and II kerogen and that in mudstones/shales is type II kerogen. The C27/C29 regular steranes ratios and 4-methylsterane indices (4MSI) further confirmed the difference in the source of OM between organic-rich shales and mudstones/shales; that is, that the OM of organic-rich shales is mainly derived from the lake algae and aquatic macrophytes and the OM of mudstones/shales is mainly from the higher plants. The values of the gammacerane index and ratios of C21/C23 TT and C24 Tet/C26 TT all indicate that the source rocks from LS2 are deposited in freshwater to a low salinity water column. Moreover, a cross-plot of C21–22/C27–29 sterane versus dia/reg C27 sterane ratios and Pr/Ph ratios suggests that the source rocks from LS2 are recorded to have sub-oxic to oxic conditions. Based on those analyses, two dynamical formation models were proposed: a high-productivity and oxic-suboxic dynamical formation model (Model A) and a low-productivity and oxic-suboxic dynamical formation model (Model B). Full article
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