Special Issue "Mineralogy of Shale Gas and Other Low Permeability Reservoirs"

A special issue of Minerals (ISSN 2075-163X).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 20 March 2020.

Special Issue Editor

Guest Editor
Dr. Gareth Chalmers Website E-Mail
Department of Earth and Ocean Sciences, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, BC, Canada
Interests: mineralogy; sedimentary processes; diagenesis; electron microscopy; geochemistry; permeability; pore development; unconventional petroleum resources; sustainability

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Shale gas reservoirs and other low permeability rocks have become significant contributors to global hydrocarbon production in the past two decades, with shale gas contributing up to 30% of the world’s natural gas supply by 2040. Shale gas production is complex because of the combination of geological processes that control the reservoir characteristics. These processes include primary depositional environment, diagenetic processes (mineral and organic), and structural processes. The mineralogy of shale gas reservoirs and other tight reservoirs is an important characteristic that governs whether a shale play will be successfully developed, as the mineral composition controls, in part, the pore system that dictates the hydrocarbon density and natural permeability of these rocks. The mineralogy has significant influence on the geomechanical properties of the reservoirs, and the ability for these rocks to be fractured to increase permeability to economic rates. Mineral composition and texture also have a large impact on the geochemistry of the produced fluids, as hydraulic fracture fluids interact with the reservoir’s minerals and pore fluids. The impact mineralogy has on produced water geochemistry has large implications on water treatment, recycling, and social license to develop these resources.

This Special Issue aims to publish papers that explore the role that primary and secondary minerals in low permeability reservoirs (shale, mudstones, siltstone, and tight sandstones) have on the development of the porosity, permeability, and geomechanics. Research that investigates the influence that the mineral composition and texture have on the geochemistry of produced water are also welcome.

Dr. Gareth Chalmers
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Minerals is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1400 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • mineral composition
  • diagenetic processes
  • depositional environments
  • geomechanics
  • fracture stimulation
  • porosity
  • permeability
  • rock–fluid interactions
  • geochemistry

Published Papers (2 papers)

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Research

Open AccessArticle
Full-Scale Pore Structure and Fractal Dimension of the Longmaxi Shale from the Southern Sichuan Basin: Investigations Using FE-SEM, Gas Adsorption and Mercury Intrusion Porosimetry
Minerals 2019, 9(9), 543; https://doi.org/10.3390/min9090543 - 09 Sep 2019
Abstract
Pore structure determines the gas occurrence and storage properties of gas shale and is a vital element for reservoir evaluation and shale gas resources assessment. Field emission scanning electron microscopy (FE-SEM), high-pressure mercury intrusion porosimetry (HMIP), and low-pressure N2/CO2 adsorption [...] Read more.
Pore structure determines the gas occurrence and storage properties of gas shale and is a vital element for reservoir evaluation and shale gas resources assessment. Field emission scanning electron microscopy (FE-SEM), high-pressure mercury intrusion porosimetry (HMIP), and low-pressure N2/CO2 adsorption were used to qualitatively and quantitatively characterize full-scale pore structure of Longmaxi (LM) shale from the southern Sichuan Basin. Fractal dimension and its controlling factors were also discussed in our study. Longmaxi shale mainly developed organic matter (OM) pores, interparticle pores, intraparticle pores, and microfracture, of which the OM pores dominated the pore system. The pore diameters are mainly distributed in the ranges of 0.4–0.7 nm, 2–20 nm and 40–200 μm. Micro-, meso- and macropores contribute 24%, 57% and 19% of the total pore volume (PV), respectively, and 64.5%, 34.6%, and 0.9% of the total specific surface area (SSA). Organic matter and clay minerals have a positive contribution to pore development. While high brittle mineral content can inhibit shale pore development. The fractal dimensions D1 and D2 which represents the roughness of the shale surface and irregularity of the space structure, respectively, are calculated based on N2 desorption data. The value of D1 is in the range of 2.6480–2.7334 (average of 2.6857), D2 is in the range of 2.8924–2.9439 (average of 2.9229), which indicates that Longmaxi shales have a rather irregular pore morphology as well as complex pore structure. Both PV and SSA positively correlated with fractal dimensions D1 and D2. The fractal dimension D1 decreases with increasing average pore diameter, while D2 is on the contrary. These results suggest that the small pores have a higher roughness surface, while the larger pores have a more complex spatial structure. The fractal dimensions of shale are jointly controlled by OM, clays and brittle minerals. The TOC content is the key factor which has a positive correlation with the fractal dimension. Clay minerals have a negative influence on fractal dimension D1, and positive influence D2, while brittle minerals show an opposite effect compared with clay minerals. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Mineralogy of Shale Gas and Other Low Permeability Reservoirs)
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Open AccessArticle
The Early Silurian Sedimentary Environment of Middle-Upper Yangtze: Lithological and Palaeontological Evidence and Impact on Shale Gas Reservoir
Minerals 2019, 9(8), 494; https://doi.org/10.3390/min9080494 - 18 Aug 2019
Abstract
The organic-enriched thick shale at the bottom of Longmaxi Formation is laterally continuous distributed and has been proven to be of good production capability in Fuling of Upper Yangtze. Uplifts that developed during the sedimentation influenced the reservoir characteristics by taking control of [...] Read more.
The organic-enriched thick shale at the bottom of Longmaxi Formation is laterally continuous distributed and has been proven to be of good production capability in Fuling of Upper Yangtze. Uplifts that developed during the sedimentation influenced the reservoir characteristics by taking control of the sedimentary environment and provenance. The sedimentary environments are mainly deep-water shelf, shallow-water shelf, and tidal flat. By analyzing reservoir characteristic of these three environments, the deep-water shelf, which dominated the early stage of sedimentation, formed a high-quality reservoir with high TOC (Total Organic Carbon) content, porosity, and brittleness, while the environment was maintained around the basin centre until the Early Silurian. The shales deposited under the shallow-water environment were of low porosity because of the increasing calcareous and argillaceous contents. Sediments which formed on the tidal flat were arenaceous and of the lowest TOC content as the organic preservation conditions deteriorated. The good correlation of graptolite abundance and TOC content, and high porosity within graptolite fossils emphasize the importance of palaeontological development. The argillaceous cap over the Longmaxi shale is of good sealing capability, and the continuous sedimentation zone along southern Sichuan–eastern Chongqing is the best optimized hydrocarbon-bearing system. However, a weak interface on the discontinuity is the potential lateral pathway for gas diffusion at Northern Guizhou and Western Hunan, but on the southeast margin where the dark shale and the tidal sandstone contact, it promises to form a tight gas reservoir. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Mineralogy of Shale Gas and Other Low Permeability Reservoirs)
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