Special Issue "Hydrocarbon Generation and Accumulation in Unconventional Shale Reservoir: Up-to-Date Advances in Theory, Experiment, Method and Application"

A special issue of Minerals (ISSN 2075-163X). This special issue belongs to the section "Mineral Exploration Methods and Applications".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 21 October 2022 | Viewed by 5157

Special Issue Editors

Prof. Dr. Rui Yang
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
School of Earth Resources, China University of Geosciences, Wuhan, China
Interests: Multi-scale pore structure characterization of shale reservoir; Connectivity and wettability of multiple nm-μm shale matrix pore systems; Genesis and evolution of gas shale; Hydrocarbon accumulation and depletion mechanisms in gas shale reservoir
Dr. Zhiye Gao
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Unconventional Petroleum Research Institute, China University of Petroleum (Beijing), Beijing, China
Interests: pore structure characterization and wettability evaluation; enrichment mechanism of hydrocarbon in shale reservoir
Dr. Yuguang Hou
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
School of Earth Resources, China University of Geosciences, Wuhan, China
Interests: unconventional shale gas geology; gas adsorption; tectonics; preservation condition evaluation of shale reservoir; petroleum geochemistry
Dr. Songtao Wu
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Research Institute of Petroleum Exploration and Development, CNPC, Beijing 100083, China
Interests: unconventional petroleum geology; CO2 CCUS; sedimentology and reservoir rock property evaluation
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Over the past three decades, great advances in drilling and completion technologies (e.g., horizontal drilling coupled with large-scale, multistage hydraulic stimulation) have significantly 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 the 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 Special Issue on hydrocarbon generation and accumulation in unconventional shale reservoirs, and invites contributions to 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
Dr. Songtao Wu
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

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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
  • multi-scale 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

Published Papers (9 papers)

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Research

Article
Uranium in Source Rocks: Role of Redox Conditions and Correlation with Productivity in the Example of the Bazhenov Formation
Minerals 2022, 12(8), 976; https://doi.org/10.3390/min12080976 - 31 Jul 2022
Viewed by 313
Abstract
The paper reports comprehensive analysis of different factors affecting uranium content in oil source rocks and the relationship between uranium content and productivity of source rocks. The analysis of data for 13 wells of the Bazhenov Formation (Western Siberia, Russia) was carried out. [...] Read more.
The paper reports comprehensive analysis of different factors affecting uranium content in oil source rocks and the relationship between uranium content and productivity of source rocks. The analysis of data for 13 wells of the Bazhenov Formation (Western Siberia, Russia) was carried out. The uranium content of the rocks was measured by gamma-ray spectrometry on core samples. In order to analyze factors affecting uranium accumulation in source rocks, we studied content and characteristics of organic matter (Rock-Eval pyrolysis), and also mineral, element, and isotope composition of rocks. We have shown that redox conditions at the sedimentation stage have the most pronounced impact on the uranium accumulation in the rocks of the Bazhenov Formation. It was also shown that productive intervals, containing increased amounts of mobile hydrocarbons, are characterized by low (<20 ppm) concentration of uranium. However, the intervals, containing phosphorite minerals may show better reservoir properties and oil saturation at higher concentration of uranium. The analysis of correlations and relationships between uranium content and Rock-Eval pyrolysis indexes (oil saturation index and productivity index) enabled formulation of criteria for selection of oil-saturated intervals using the spectral gamma and pulsed neutron spectroscopy log data. Full article
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Article
Characteristics and Differences Analysis for Thermal Evolution of Wufeng–Longmaxi Shale, Southern Sichuan Basin, SW China
Minerals 2022, 12(7), 906; https://doi.org/10.3390/min12070906 - 19 Jul 2022
Viewed by 219
Abstract
The marine shale of the Upper Ordovician Wufeng Formation–Lower Silurian Longmaxi Formation is the main source rock and the target of shale gas exploration in the southern Sichuan Basin. The maturity of organic matter (OM) is a vital indicator for source rock evaluation. [...] Read more.
The marine shale of the Upper Ordovician Wufeng Formation–Lower Silurian Longmaxi Formation is the main source rock and the target of shale gas exploration in the southern Sichuan Basin. The maturity of organic matter (OM) is a vital indicator for source rock evaluation. Due to the lack of vitrinite, the organic matter maturity of the Wufeng–Longmaxi Formations in the southern Sichuan Basin is difficult to accurately evaluate. In total, 33 core samples of the Wufeng–Longmaxi Formations in the southern Sichuan Basin were selected to observe the optical characteristics of solid bitumen and graptolites and measure their random reflectance. Simultaneously, Raman spectroscopic parameters of kerogen were also used to quantitatively analyze the change in maturity. By using Raman spectroscopic parameters as mediators, conversion equations between graptolite random reflectance (GRor) and equivalent vitrinite reflectance (EqVRo) were established. Taking the calculation results of EqVRo as constraints, the tectono-thermal evolution history of Wufeng–Longmaxi Shale in the southern Sichuan Basin is constructed through basin modelling. The results show that the maturity of Wufeng–Longmaxi Shale in the western Changning, Luzhou-western Chongqing, eastern Changning and Weiyuan areas decreases successively. The EqVRo falls in the ranges of 3.61%~3.91%, 2.92%~3.57%, 3.08%~3.25%, 2.41%~3.12%, and the average EqVRo is 3.73%, 3.30%, 3.18% and 2.80%, respectively. Thermal evolution in western Changning was controlled by the thermal effect of the Emeishan mantle plume and paleo-burial depth, while the thermal evolution of other areas was mainly controlled by paleo-burial depth. This study provides a reliable parameter for the evaluation of thermal maturity and makes a more accurate calibration of the maturity of the Wufeng–Longmaxi Formations in the southern Sichuan Basin; it also expounds the factors for the differences in thermal evolution in different parts of the area. Full article
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Article
Mechanism of the Enrichment and Loss Progress of Deep Shale Gas: Evidence from Fracture Veins of the Wufeng–Longmaxi Formations in the Southern Sichuan Basin
Minerals 2022, 12(7), 897; https://doi.org/10.3390/min12070897 - 17 Jul 2022
Viewed by 371
Abstract
Natural fractures caused by tectonic stress in shale can not only improve the seepage capacity of shale, but also become the migration and loss channel of free gas. Calcite, quartz and other minerals in shale fracture veins record the fluid evolution information of [...] Read more.
Natural fractures caused by tectonic stress in shale can not only improve the seepage capacity of shale, but also become the migration and loss channel of free gas. Calcite, quartz and other minerals in shale fracture veins record the fluid evolution information of the shale. Through the analysis of different types of fracture cements in the shale of the Silurian–Ordovician Wufeng–Longmaxi Formations in the southern Sichuan Basin, the effect of different fractures on shale gas construction or destruction was clarified. Geochemical investigations included the diagenetic mineral sequences in the hole–cavity veins, paleo-pressure recovery by Raman quantitative analysis, and the environments of diagenetic fluids traced by rare earth elements (REE) signatures. The density, composition, pressure, and temperature properties of CH4-bearing fluid inclusions were determined by Raman quantitative measurement and thermodynamic simulations to establish the trapping condition of the geo-fluids, and so constrain the periods of gas accumulation. The diagenetic sequences in the fracture veins can be summarized as follows: Cal-I→Qz-II→Cal-III. The Cal-I in the bedding fracture veins crystallized in the late Jurassic (~180 Ma), and originated from hydrothermal origin and diagenetic fluid; the Qz-II veins crystallized in the middle Jurassic (~190 Ma); the Cal-III veins in the high-angle fractures precipitated during the early Eocene (~12 Ma), and derived from atmospheric freshwater leaching. Pore fluid pressure gradually increased. The pressure coefficient of the shale gas reservoir gradually increased to strong overpressure from 160 Ma to 86 Ma. Between 75 Ma and the present day, the pore fluid pressure and the pressure coefficient in the shale reservoirs, having been affected by tectonic activities and strata uplift-erosion, have significantly reduced. Bedding slippage fractures play a constructive role in the enrichment of shale gas, and fracture slip can significantly improve fracture permeability. High-angle shear fractures usually cut through different strata in areas with strong tectonic activity, and destroy the sealing of the shale. The entrapment of primary methane gas inclusions recorded the process of excess reservoir pressure reduction, and indicated the partial loss of shale free gas. Full article
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Article
Alterations of Carbonate Mineral Matrix and Kerogen Micro-Structure in Domanik Organic-Rich Shale during Anhydrous Pyrolysis
Minerals 2022, 12(7), 870; https://doi.org/10.3390/min12070870 - 09 Jul 2022
Viewed by 365
Abstract
The study of organic-rich carbonate-containing shales after heating is an important task for the effective application of in-situ thermal kerogen conversion technologies implemented for these types of rocks. This research was conducted to study changes in the rocks of the Domanik Formation after [...] Read more.
The study of organic-rich carbonate-containing shales after heating is an important task for the effective application of in-situ thermal kerogen conversion technologies implemented for these types of rocks. This research was conducted to study changes in the rocks of the Domanik Formation after high-temperature treatment, taking into account the nature of structural changes at the micro level and chemical transformations in minerals. The sample of organic-rich carbonate-containing shales of the Domanik Formation was treated in stages in a pyrolizer in an inert atmosphere in the temperature range of 350–800 °C for 30 min at each temperature. By means of X-ray powder diffractometry (XRPD), HAWK pyrolysis, light and scanning electron microscopy (SEM), energy-dispersive X-ray spectroscopy (EDX), and computed micro-tomography, the characteristics of the rock before and after each heating stage were studied. The results showed significant alteration of the mineral matrix in the temperature range 600–800 °C, including the decomposition of minerals with the formation of new components, and structural alterations such as fracturing micropore formation. The organic matter (OM) was compacted at T = 350–400 °C and fractured. The evolution of void space includes fracture formation at the edges between rock components, both in organic matter and in minerals, as well as nanopore formation inside the carbonate mineral matrix. The results obtained show what processes at the microlevel can occur in carbonate-containing organic-rich shales under high-temperature treatment, and how these processes affect changes in the microstructure and pore space in the sample. These results are essential for modeling and the effective application of thermal EOR in organic-rich shales. Full article
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Article
Application of Chemical Sequence Stratigraphy to the Prediction of Shale Gas Sweet Spots in the Wufeng and Lower Longmaxi Formations within the Upper Yangtze Region
Minerals 2022, 12(7), 859; https://doi.org/10.3390/min12070859 - 05 Jul 2022
Viewed by 309
Abstract
Effective shale gas exploration is hindered by the need for obtaining high-resolution correlations between shale strata and the need for classifying shale facies. To address these issues, chemostratigraphy, sequence stratigraphy, and shale gas geology methods were integrated to develop a new method known [...] Read more.
Effective shale gas exploration is hindered by the need for obtaining high-resolution correlations between shale strata and the need for classifying shale facies. To address these issues, chemostratigraphy, sequence stratigraphy, and shale gas geology methods were integrated to develop a new method known as “chemical sequence stratigraphy,” which was successfully applied to the Wufeng–Lower Longmaxi Formations in the upper Yangtze region. Well Huadi 1 was used as a case study, and detailed data were acquired. Multivariate statistical analyses were applied to three defined indices having different genetic significance, namely: terrigenous input intensity (TII), authigenic precipitation intensity (API), and organic matter adsorption and reduction intensity (OARI). By analyzing the trends of these three indices, the Wufeng–Lower Longmaxi Formations were divided into five fourth-order chemical sequences (from bottom to top): LCW, MCL1-1, MCL1-2, MCL1-3, and MCL1-4. The geochemical facies were named and classified using the chemical sequence stratigraphic framework. The enrichment factor (EF) transformation of elements was conducted to determine whether an element is rich or deficient. The results showed that the favorable geochemical facies in the well were EF-Al deficient, EF-Ca rich, and EF-V rich. The organic matter content and rock brittle strength were then used as chemical parameters, and it was predicted that the LCW and MCL1-1 chemical sequences most likely comprised shale gas sweet spots. This conclusion is consistent with the drilling results and indicates that our proposed method is effective and reliable. This method is further applied to the Changning Shuanghe section, the Shizhu Liutang section, and sections in the Xindi 1 well in the upper Yangtze region. The comparative study of these four sections showed that LCW and MCL1-1 are the key chemical sequences for shale gas exploration and development in the Wufeng–Lower Longmaxi Formations within the Upper Yangtze region. Full article
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Article
Pyrite Characteristics and Its Environmental Significance in Marine Shale: A Case Study from the Upper Ordovician Wufeng–Lower Silurian Longmaxi Formation in the Southeast Sichuan Basin, SW China
Minerals 2022, 12(7), 830; https://doi.org/10.3390/min12070830 - 29 Jun 2022
Viewed by 320
Abstract
Pyrite, as a characteristic mineral in organic-rich marine shale, is a significant index for the interpretation of paleoredox conditions. In this study, based on drilling cores and focused ion beam-scanning electron microscopy (FIB-SEM), the occurrence, diameter and particle size distribution of pyrites from [...] Read more.
Pyrite, as a characteristic mineral in organic-rich marine shale, is a significant index for the interpretation of paleoredox conditions. In this study, based on drilling cores and focused ion beam-scanning electron microscopy (FIB-SEM), the occurrence, diameter and particle size distribution of pyrites from 32 samples obtained from the Wufeng–Longmaxi Formation in the southeast Sichuan Basin were analyzed. The results show that pyrite displays various occurrences at the macro-scale and micro-scale. At the macro-scale (mm–cm), pyrite laminations, nodular pyrites and lenticular pyrites can be found from drilling cores. At the micro-scale (nm–µm), the common occurrences of pyrite are pyrite framboids, euhedral pyrites and infilled pyrite framboids. According to the formation mechanism of pyrites, pyrites can be divided into syngenetic pyrites and diagenetic pyrites. The infilled pyrite framboids are categorized as diagenetic pyrites. The mean pyrite framboid diameters (Mean, D) range from 2.94 µm to 5.33 µm (average of 4.26 µm), with most samples showing pyrite framboid diameters from 3.5 μm to 4.8 μm. Most of the diameters of the framboid microcrystals (Mean, d) are less than 0.4 µm. Therefore, according to the (Mean, D) and the (Mean, d), the pyrite framboids can be divided into three sizes: syngenetic framboids (SF, D < 4.8 µm, d ≤ 0.4 µm), early diagenetic framboids (EDF, D > 4.8 µm, d > 0.4 µm) and late diagenetic framboids (LDF, D < 4.8 µm, d > 0.4 µm). Additionally, box-and-whisker charts of the diameter, standard deviation/skewness value of the mean diameter of pyrite framboids (Mean, D) and the ratio of trace elements indicate that the sedimentary water body was a euxinic–dysoxic environment. Euxinic conditions dominated the Wufeng Formation to the lower part of the Long11-3 section, which is beneficial for the preservation of organic matter. However, the middle-upper part of the Long13-Long12 sub-member is a dysoxic sedimentary environment. Full article
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Article
Lithofacies and Source Rock Quality of Organic-Rich Shales in the Cretaceous Qingshankou Formation, Songliao Basin, NE China
Minerals 2022, 12(4), 465; https://doi.org/10.3390/min12040465 - 11 Apr 2022
Viewed by 632
Abstract
The organic-rich shale of the Qingshankou Formation (K2qn) is the most important target in the Songliao Basin. The relationship between lithofacies and source rock quality, however, is still controversial. Core observation, thin section identification, X-ray diffraction, organic geochemistry, and other analytical [...] Read more.
The organic-rich shale of the Qingshankou Formation (K2qn) is the most important target in the Songliao Basin. The relationship between lithofacies and source rock quality, however, is still controversial. Core observation, thin section identification, X-ray diffraction, organic geochemistry, and other analytical methods were adopted to investigate the petrology and its effects on hydrocarbon potential of the Qingshankou shale. Based on the differences in minerals, bioclastic, and fabric of laminae, four main lithofacies were defined as: (i) felsic shale (FS), (ii) clay shale (CS), (iii) bio-bearing shale (BS), and (iv) mixed shale (MS). The clay minerals content in the CS (average: 46.72 wt%) and MS (average: 41.11 wt%) was higher than that in FS (average: 39.97 wt%) and BS (average: 35.48 wt%). This classification allows the following comparative quantification of total organic carbon (TOC) content to be differentiated: CS > BS > MS > FS. Geochemical analysis indicated that the oil generation potential of the CS was the best, and the hydrocarbons generated from CS might migrate and accumulate in other lithofacies. All this knowledge could shed light on the lithofacies classification in shale systems with high clay mineral content, and may provide references for sweet spotting of the Qingshankou Formation in the Songliao Basin. Full article
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Article
The Distribution of Gas Components within a Shale System and Its Implication for Migration
Minerals 2022, 12(4), 397; https://doi.org/10.3390/min12040397 - 24 Mar 2022
Viewed by 531
Abstract
Experimental studies on the desorption and adsorption of shale are conducted extensively and used for in-depth research on shale gas components and isotopic components. However, there is little systematic research aimed at a given shale stratum. This study takes the Chang-7 shale of [...] Read more.
Experimental studies on the desorption and adsorption of shale are conducted extensively and used for in-depth research on shale gas components and isotopic components. However, there is little systematic research aimed at a given shale stratum. This study takes the Chang-7 shale of the YC23 Well in the Ordos Basin as the research object, and attempts to obtain a full understanding of the distribution characteristics of different gas components, and to explore the migration ability of different gas components. In this study, Chang-7 shale gas in Well YC23 can be sorted into three categories: generated gas, retained gas and accumulated gas. Geochemical parameters including TOC, S1 and S2 are used to evaluate the generated gas, and the fractionation of hydrocarbon components is used to distinguish retained gas and migrated gas. The fractionation of non-hydrocarbon components as well as carbon isotopes is also analyzed and discussed. This study confirms that shale gas in different locations has unique gas components due to gas migration. Full article
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Article
Lamination Texture and Its Effects on Reservoir and Geochemical Properties of the Palaeogene Kongdian Formation in the Cangdong Sag, Bohai Bay Basin, China
Minerals 2021, 11(12), 1360; https://doi.org/10.3390/min11121360 - 01 Dec 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 793
Abstract
The characteristics of laminae are critical to lacustrine shale strata. They are the keys to the quality of source rocks and reservoirs, as well as engineering operations in shale plays. This study uses organic geochemistry, thin section identification, X-ray diffraction, field emission scanning [...] Read more.
The characteristics of laminae are critical to lacustrine shale strata. They are the keys to the quality of source rocks and reservoirs, as well as engineering operations in shale plays. This study uses organic geochemistry, thin section identification, X-ray diffraction, field emission scanning electron microscopy, and other analytical methods, to reveal the detailed lamination texture and vertical distribution of laminae in the second Member of the Kongdian Formation in Cangdong Sag. The principal results are as follows: (1) A classification of laminae is proposed to characterize reservoir and geochemical properties. The five types of laminae are as follows: feldspar-quartz laminae (FQL), clay laminae (CLL), carbonate laminae (CAL), organic matter laminae (OML), and bioclastic laminae (BCL). There are also four significant lamina combinations (with the increasing TOC values): FQL-CLL combination, FQL-CLL-BCL combination, FQL-CLL-OML combination, and FQL-CAL-CLL-OML combination; (2) differences between laminae occur because of the variability in pore types and structures. There appears to be a greater abundance of intercrystalline pores of clay minerals in the FQL, CAL, BCL, and OML, and well-developed organic pores in the CAL and CLL, and the counterparts of intragranular pores of bioclastic material in the BCL. This detailed characterization provides the following comparative quantification of the thin section porosity of laminae in the second Member of the Kongdian Formation can be differentiated: CAL > FQL > OML > BCL > CLL; (3) differentiation between vertical distributions of laminae is carried out in a single well. The FQL and CLL are widely distributed in all the samples, while the BCL is concentrated in the upper part of the second Member of the Kongdian Formation, and CAL is concentrated in the lower part. This detailed classification method, using geochemical analysis and vertical distribution descriptions, offers a detailed understanding of lamination texture and its effects on reservoir and geochemical properties, which will provide a scientific guidance and technical support to better estimate reservoir quality and to identify new sweet spots in the second Member of the Kongdian Formation in the Cangdong Sag. Full article
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Planned Papers

The below list represents only planned manuscripts. Some of these manuscripts have not been received by the Editorial Office yet. Papers submitted to MDPI journals are subject to peer-review.

1. Yuguang Hou et al., 2022. Variations of Reservoir properties for different shale lithofacies in Lower Carboniferous Formation, Southwestern Guizhou, China:Insights to shale gas accumulation and pore structure.
2. Hao Xu et al., 2022. Pore evolution characteristics of Dalong marine organic-rich shale based on pyrolysis simulation experiment.
3. Shuling Xiong et al., 2022. Water adsorption characteristics of typical clay minerals: Implications for water storage and migration.
4. Furong Wang et al., 2022. Stress sensitivity characteristics of continental shale reservoirs and its influencing factors − A case from Dongyuemiao Section of Jurassic in Fuxing Area of Sichuan Basin
5. Jianping Yan et al., 2022. Comparative analysis and significance of low resistivity shale gas reservoirs in different regions in Changning area, southern Sichuan Basin
6. Kuo Wan, 2022. Evolution of organic matter pore network in Upper Permian Dalong Formation shales in Guangyuan area, North Sichuan, China—Insights from laboratory thermal maturity experiment
7. Hui Yu et al., 2022. Study on the Spontaneous Imbibition Characteristics of the Deep Longmaxi Formation Shales of the Southern Sichuan Basin, China.
8. Weihang Zhang et al., 2022. Water accessibility and pore structure characterization of overmature marine shales using water vapor sorption.
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