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Origin and Sources of Minerals and Their Impact on the Hydrocarbon Reservoir Quality of the PaleogeneLulehe Formation in the Eboliang Area, Northern Qaidam Basin, China

by Bo Chen 1,2,*, Feng Wang 1,*, Jian Shi 2, Fenjun Chen 3 and Haixin Shi 1,*
Guangxi Colleges and Universities Key Laboratory of Beibu Gulf Oil and Natural Gas Resource Effective Utilization, Beibu Gulf University, Qinzhou 515000, China
Key Laboratory of Petroleum Resources, Gansu Province/Key Laboratory of Petroleum Resources Research, Institute of Geology and Geophysics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Lanzhou 730000, China
Exploration & Production Research Institute of Qinghai Oilfield Company, petroChina, Dunhuang 736202, China
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Minerals 2019, 9(7), 436;
Received: 13 May 2019 / Revised: 8 July 2019 / Accepted: 12 July 2019 / Published: 15 July 2019
The Lulehe sandstone in the Eboliang area is a major target for hydrocarbon exploration in the northern Qaidam Basin. Based on an integrated analysis including thin section analysis, scanning electron microscopy, X-ray diffraction, cathodoluminescence investigation, backscattered electron images, carbon and oxygen stable isotope analysis and fluid inclusion analysis, the diagenetic processes mainly include compaction, cementation by carbonate and quartz, formation of authigenic clay minerals (i.e., chlorite, kaolinite, illite-smectite and illite) and dissolution of unstable materials. Compaction is the main factor for the deterioration of reservoir quality; in addition, calcite cement and clay minerals are present, including kaolinite, pore-filling chlorite, illite-smectite and illite, which also account for reservoir quality reduction. Integration of petrographic studies and isotope geochemistry reveals the carbonate cements might have originated from mixed sources of bioclast- and organic-derived CO2 during burial. The quartz cement probably formed by feldspar dissolution, illitization of smectite and kaolinite, as well as pressure solution of quartz grains. Smectite, commonly derived from alteration of volcanic rock fragments, may have been the primary clay mineral precursor of chlorite. In addition, authigenic kaolinite is closely associated with feldspar dissolution, suggesting that alteration of detrital feldspar grains was the most probable source for authigenic kaolinite. With the increase in temperature and consumption of organic acids, the ratio of K+/H+ increases and the stability field of kaolinite is greatly reduced, thereby transforming kaolinite into mixed layer illite/smectite and illite. Within the study area, porosity increases with chlorite content up to approximately 3% volume and then decreases slightly, indicating that chlorite coatings are beneficial at an optimum volume of 3%. A benefit of the dissolution of unstable minerals and feldspar grains is the occurrence of secondary porosity, which may enhance porosity to some extent. However, the solutes cannot be transported over a large scale in the deep burial environment, and simultaneous precipitation of byproducts of feldspar dissolution such as authigenic kaolinite and quartz cement will occur in situ or in adjacent pores, resulting in heterogeneity of the reservoirs. View Full-Text
Keywords: diagenesis; authigenic minerals; reservoir quality; Eboliang; Qaidam Basin diagenesis; authigenic minerals; reservoir quality; Eboliang; Qaidam Basin
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Chen, B.; Wang, F.; Shi, J.; Chen, F.; Shi, H. Origin and Sources of Minerals and Their Impact on the Hydrocarbon Reservoir Quality of the PaleogeneLulehe Formation in the Eboliang Area, Northern Qaidam Basin, China. Minerals 2019, 9, 436.

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