The Upper Jurassic Mengyin Formation sandstones are important targets for petroleum exploration in Dongying Depression of Bohai Bay Basin, Eastern China. Although the current burial depth of the Upper Jurassic Mengyin Formation sandstones is shallow (900–2500 m), the reservoir rocks are characterized by low porosity and low permeability due to the complex diagenetic modifications after deposition. Experimental tests and statistical methods, such as thin section, scanning electron microscopy (SEM), cathodoluminescence (CL), high pressure mercury injection (HPMI) and fluid inclusion analysis are conducted to delineate the mineralogical, petrographic and petro-physical characteristics. Results show that physical and chemical processes, including burial depth, burial and thermal history and pore fluid evolution, are both important for the diagenetic modifications that result in a variety changes in pore system and reservoir quality. According to numerical simulation of porosity evolution during lengthy burial and thermal history, porosity loss due to the early deep burial process under the high paleo-geothermal gradient can reach about 20%. Moreover, the burial history (effective stress and temperature) has a better guidance to reservoir quality prediction compared with current burial depth. The extensive compaction in sandstones also resulted in extremely low pore fluid flow during subsequent diagenetic processes, thus, the reaction products of dissolution cannot be removed, which would be precipitated as carbonate cements during stable reburial phase. Dissolution resulted from uncomformity-related meteoric flushing have been the most important porosity-enhancing factor in Mengyin Formation sandstones in spite of low thin section porosity averaged out to 3.22%. Secondary pores derived from dissolution of unstable silicates are more likely to develop in sandstones near the regional unconformity. The oil source fault activities may enhance the heterogeneity of reservoir rocks and control the reservoir quality by inducing micro-fractures and providing the main pathways for hydrocarbon migration.
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