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Energies 2018, 11(12), 3373; https://doi.org/10.3390/en11123373

Effective Exploitation Potential of Shale Gas from Lower Cambrian Niutitang Formation, Northwestern Hunan, China

1,2,3
,
1,2
,
4,2,* , 1,2,3,* , 1,2
and
5
1
Schools of Geosciences and Info-Physics, Central South University, Changsha 410083, China
2
Key Laboratory of Metallogenic Prediction of Nonferrous Metals and Geological Environment Monitoring (Ministry of Education), Central South University, Changsha 410083, China
3
Key Laboratory of Oil and Gas Reservoir Geology and Exploitation, Southwest Petroleum University, Chengdu 610500, China
4
Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Michigan Technological University, 1400 Townsend Drive, Houghton, MI 49931, USA
5
College of Civil Engineering, Hunan University of Technology, Zhuzhou 412007, China
*
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 24 October 2018 / Revised: 16 November 2018 / Accepted: 29 November 2018 / Published: 2 December 2018
PDF [1969 KB, uploaded 2 December 2018]

Abstract

The marine shale in the Lower Cambrian Niutitang Formation is the dominant shale-gas reservoir in northwestern Hunan, which accounts for more than 70% of unconventional energy in Hunan province. Accurately evaluating the shale-gas exploitation potential is a key to determining whether commercial exploitation standards can be met. In the literature, most existing studies have focused on evaluating the shale-gas exploitation potential based on either accumulation conditions or the shale fracability, which will lead to a gap between the real production and proven gas reserves due to the characteristics of the shale’s low permeability and low porosity. Therefore, further studies are needed to evaluate the effective shale-gas exploitation potential. To address this need, the outcrop shale samples in the Niutitang Formation were collected from the target regions, and the geological characteristics, mechanics behavior, and microstructure performance were discussed via both field data and laboratory tests. The results revealed that the shale-gas exploitation potential in the Niutitang Formation was indicated to be comparable to that of five validated shale-gas exploitation regions in the United States. To further illustrate the effective shale-gas exploitation potential, this study suggested using a comprehensive evaluation framework for this purpose, in which both accumulation condition and the shale fracability are simultaneously considered. Therefore, the shale gas reservoir in the Niutitang Formation has highly effective shale-gas exploitation potential by considering both the accumulation conditions and the shale fracability.
Keywords: marine shale; Niutitang Formation of Lower Cambrian; effective exploitation potential; accumulation characteristics; shale fracability marine shale; Niutitang Formation of Lower Cambrian; effective exploitation potential; accumulation characteristics; shale fracability
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).
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Cao, H.; Wang, T.; Bao, T.; Sun, P.; Zhang, Z.; Wu, J. Effective Exploitation Potential of Shale Gas from Lower Cambrian Niutitang Formation, Northwestern Hunan, China. Energies 2018, 11, 3373.

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