Volume 12 Issue 4
Jul.  2021
Turn off MathJax
Article Contents
Xiongqi Pang, Chengzao Jia, Wenyang Wang, Zhangxin Chen, Maowen Li, Fujie Jiang, Tao Hu, Ke Wang, Yingxun Wang. Buoyance-driven hydrocarbon accumulation depth and its implication for unconventional resource prediction[J]. Geoscience Frontiers, 2021, 12(4): 101133. doi: 10.1016/j.gsf.2020.11.019
Citation: Xiongqi Pang, Chengzao Jia, Wenyang Wang, Zhangxin Chen, Maowen Li, Fujie Jiang, Tao Hu, Ke Wang, Yingxun Wang. Buoyance-driven hydrocarbon accumulation depth and its implication for unconventional resource prediction[J]. Geoscience Frontiers, 2021, 12(4): 101133. doi: 10.1016/j.gsf.2020.11.019

Buoyance-driven hydrocarbon accumulation depth and its implication for unconventional resource prediction

doi: 10.1016/j.gsf.2020.11.019

We appreciate the Exploration and Development Research Institute of PetroChina, Sinopec, and CNOOC for providing background geologic data and the permission to publish the results. This research is supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (No. U19B6003-02) and the National Basic Research Program (973) of China (No. 2011CB201100).

  • Received Date: 2020-03-14
  • Rev Recd Date: 2020-09-26
  • The discovery of unconventional hydrocarbon resources since the late 20th century changed geologists' understanding of hydrocarbon migration and accumulations and provides a solution to energy shortage. In 2016, unconventional oil production in the USA accounted for 41% of the total oil production; and unconventional natural gas production in China accounted for 35% of total gas production, showing strong growth momentum of unconventional hydrocarbons explorations. Unconventional hydrocarbons generally coexist with conventional petroleum resources; they sometimes distribute in a separate system, not coexisting with a conventional system. Identification and prediction of unconventional resources and their potentials are prominent challenges for geologists. This study analyzed the results of 12,237 drilling wells in six representative petroliferous basins in China and studied the correlations and differences between conventional and unconventional hydrocarbons by comparing their geological features. Migration and accumulation of conventional hydrocarbon are caused dominantly by buoyance. We propose a concept of buoyance-driven hydrocarbon accumulation depth to describe the deepest hydrocarbon accumulation depth driven dominantly by buoyance; beyond this depth the buoyance becomes unimportant for hydrocarbon accumulation. We found that the buoyance-driven hydrocarbon accumulation depth in petroliferous basins controls the different oil/gas reservoirs distribution and resource potentials. Hydrocarbon migration and accumulations above this depth is dominated by buoyancy, forming conventional reservoirs in traps with high porosity and permeability, while hydrocarbon migration and accumulation below this depth is dominated by non-buoyancy forces (mainly refers to capillary force, hydrocarbon volume expansion force, etc.), forming unconventional reservoirs in tight layers. The buoyance-driven hydrocarbon accumulation depths in six basins in China range from 1200 m to 4200 m, which become shallower with increasing geothermal gradient, decreasing particle size of sandstone reservoir layers, or an uplift in the whole petroliferous basin. The predicted unconventional resource potential below the buoyance-driven hydrocarbon accumulation depth in six basins in China is more than 15.71×109 t oil equivalent, among them 4.71×109 t reserves have been proved. Worldwide, 94% of 52,926 oil and gas reservoirs in 1186 basins are conventional reservoirs and only 6% of them are unconventional reservoirs. These 94% conventional reservoirs show promising exploration prospects in the deep area below buoyance-driven hydrocarbon accumulation depth.

  • loading
  • [1]
    Afşar, F., Luijendijk, E., 2019. Quantifying a critical marl thickness for vertical fracture extension using field data and numerical experiments. Geosci. Front. 10 (6), 2135-2145.
    Aguilera, R.F., Ripple, R.D., 2012. Technological progress and the availability of European oil and gas resources. Appl. Energy 96, 387-392.
    Ansari, E., Kaufmann, R.K., 2019. The effect of oil and gas price and price volatility on rig activity in tight formations and OPEC strategy. Nat. Energy 4 (4), 321.
    Bao, C., 1988. Natural Gas Geology. Science Press, Beijing, pp. 216-217.
    Cant, D.J., 1986. Diagenetic traps in sandstones. AAPG Bull. 70, 155-160.
    Cloud Jr., P., 1952. Facies relationships of organic reefs. AAPG Bull. 36, 2125-2149. https://doi.org/10.1306/5CEADBC0-16BB-11D7-8645000102C1865D.
    Coskey, R.J., 2004. Burial-History Modeling of the Jonah Field Area:An Unusual and Possibly Unique Gas Accumulation in the Green River Basin, Wyoming. In:Robinson, J.W., Shaley, K.W. (Eds.), Jonah Field:Case Study of a Tight-Gas Fluvial Reservoir.AAPG Studies in Geology, 52, pp. 93-126.
    Deffeyes, K.S., Silverman, M.P., 2004. Hubbert's peak:the impending world oil shortage.Am. J. Phys. 72 (1), 126-127.
    Ding, W., Li, C., Li, C., et al., 2012. Fracture development in shale and its relationship to gas accumulation. Geosci. Front. 3 (1), 97-105.
    Ehrenberg, S.N., Nadeau, P.H., 2005. Sandstone vs. carbonate petroleum reservoirs:A global perspective on porosity-depth and porosity-permeability relationships. AAPG Bull. 89 (4), 435-445.
    England, W.A., Mackenzie, A.S., Mann, D.M., Quigley, T.M., 1987. The movement and entrapment of petroleum fluids in the subsurface. J. Geol. Soc. 144 (2), 327-347.
    Esmaili, S., Mohaghegh, S.D., 2016. Full field reservoir modeling of shale assets using advanced data-driven analytics. Geosci. Front. 7 (1), 11-20.
    Feng, Z.Q., Zhang, S., Feng, Z.H., 2011. The significance of the discovery of "oil and gas overpressure transport envelope surface" in Songliao Basin and discussion on hydrocarbon migration and accumulation mechanism. Sci. China-Earth Sci. 12, 016.
    Fu, X., Wang, J., Tan, F.W., Chen, M., Li, Z.X., Zeng, Y.H., Feng, X.L., 2016. New insights about petroleum geology and exploration of Qiangtang Basin, northern Tibet, China:A model for low-degree exploration. Mar. Pet. Geol. 77, 323-340.
    Gautier, D.L., Bird, K.J., Charpentier, R.R., Grantz, A., Houseknecht, D.W., Klett, T.R., Moore, T.E., Pitman, J.K., Schenk, C.J., Schuenemeyer, J.H., Sørensen, K, Tennyson, M.E., Valin, Z.C., Wandrey, C.J., 2009. Assessment of undiscovered oil and gas in the Arctic. Science 324 (5931), 1175-1179.
    Guo, Y.C., Pang, X.Q., Li, Z.X., Guo, F.T., Song, L.C., 2017. The critical buoyancy threshold for tight sandstone gas entrapment:Physical simulation, interpretation, and implications to the Upper Paleozoic Ordos Basin. J. Pet. Sci. Eng. 149, 88-97.
    Holditch, S.A., 2003. The increasing role of unconventional reservoirs in the future of the oil and gas business. J. Petrol. Technol. 55 (11), 34-79.
    Hu, T., Pang, X.Q., Jiang, S., Wang, Q.F., Zheng, X.W., Ding, X.G., Zhao, Y., Zhu, C.X., Li, H., 2018. Oil content evaluation of lacustrine organic-rich shale with strong heterogeneity:A case study of the Middle Permian Lucaogou Formation in Jimusaer Sag, Junggar Basin, NW China. Fuel 221, 196-205.
    Jia, C.Z., 2017. Breakthrough and significance of unconventional oil and gas to classical petroleum geology theory. Petrol. Explor. Develop. 44 (1), 1-10.
    Jiang, Z.X., 2015. Genetic mechanism and distribution prediction of tight sandstone in Kuqa depression. Science Press, Beijing (in Chinese).
    Jiang, F.J., Pang, X.Q., Li, L.L., Wang, Q.C., Dong, Y.X., Hu, T., Chen, L.J., Jian, C., Wang, Y.X., 2018. Petroleum resources in the Nanpu sag, Bohai Bay Basin, eastern China. AAPG Bull 102 (7), 1213-1237.
    Kibria, M.G., Hu, Q.H., Liu, H., Zhang, Y.X., Kang, J.H., 2018. Pore structure, wettability, and spontaneous imbibition of Woodford shale, Permian Basin, West Texas. Mar. Pet.Geol. 91, 735-748.
    Law, B.E., Curtis, J.B., 2002. Introduction to unconventional petroleum systems. AAPG Bull. 86 (11), 1851-1852.
    Levorsen, A.I., 1956. Geology of petroleum. J. Geol. 64 (1), 99.
    Levorsen, A.I., 1967. Geology of Petroleum. WH Freeman, San Francisco.Li, P.L., Pang, X.Q., 2004. Formation of Subtle Reservoirs in Continental Fault Basins:A Case of Jiyang Depression. Petroleum Industry Press, Beijing (in Chinese).
    Littlefield, S.R., 2013. Security, independence, and sustainability:Imprecise language and the manipulation of energy policy in the United States. Energ. Policy 52, 779-788.
    Liu, Y.G., Hou, J., Zhao, H.F., Liu, X.Y., Xia, Z.Z., 2018. A method to recover natural gas hydrates with geothermal energy conveyed by CO2. Energy 144, 265-278.
    Lu, H., Lu, X.S., Fan, J.J., Zhao, M.J., Wei, H.X., Zhang, B.S., Lu, Y.H., 2016. Controlling effect of fractures on gas accumulation and production within the tight sandstone:A case study on the Jurassic Dibei gas reservoir in the eastern part of the Kuqa foreland basin, China. J. Nat. Gas Geosci. 1 (1), 61-71.
    Ma, Z.Z., 2008. Hydrocarbon accumulation dynamic mechanism and distribution model of deep tight sand reservoir. Ph.D. thesis, China University of Petroleum, Beijing, pp. 1-150 (in Chinese).
    Ma, Z,Z, Pang, X.Q, Fu X.L., Dai, G.W., 2008. Hydrocarbon expulsion characteristics and potential evaluation of Nenjiang Formation in the northern Songliao Basin. Journal of Oil and Gas Technology 30(3), 24-28 (in Chinese).
    Masters, J.A., 1979. Deep basin gas trap, western Canada. AAPG Bull. 63, 152-181.
    Masters, J.A., 1984. Lower Cretaceous Oil and Gas in Western Canada. In:Masters, J.A.(Ed.), Elmworth:Case Study of a Deep Basin Gas Field. AAPG Memoir 38, pp. 1-33.
    McCollum, D.L., Jewell, J., Krey, V., Bazilian, M., Fay, M., Riahi, K., 2016. Quantifying uncertainties influencing the long-term impacts of oil prices on energy markets and carbon emissions. Nat. Energy 1 (7), 16077.
    Ministry of Land and Resources, 2009. A New Round of National Oil and Gas Resources Evaluation. China Land Press, Beijing (in Chinese).
    Montgomery, J.B., O'Sullivan, F.M., 2017. Spatial variability of tight oil well productivity and the impact of technology. Appl. Energy 195, 344-355. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.apenergy.2017.03.038.
    Munasib, A., Rickman, D.S., 2015. Regional economic impacts of the shale gas and tight oil boom:A synthetic control analysis. Reg. Sci. Urban Econ. 50, 1-17.
    Nairn, A.E.M., Alsharhan, A.S., 1997. Sedimentary Basins and Petroleum Geology of the Middle East. Elsevier.
    Pang, X.Q., Li, M.W., Li, S.M., Jin, Z.J., 2005. Geochemistry of petroleum systems in the Niuzhuang South Slope of Bohai Bay Basin:Part 3. Estimating hydrocarbon expulsion from the Shahejie formation. Org. Geochem. 36 (4), 497-510.
    Pang, X.Q., Jiang, Z.X., Huang, H.D., Chen, D.X., Jiang, F.J., 2014. Formation mechanism, distribution model and prediction of superimposed, continuous hydrocarbon reservoir.Acta Petrol. Sin. 35 (5), 795-828. https://doi.org/10.3969/j.issn.1673-5005.2013.05.005 (in Chinese with English abstract).
    Pang, X.Q., Jia, C.Z., Zhang, K., Li, M.W., Wang, Y.W., Peng, J.W., Li, B.Y., Chen, J.Q., 2020. The dead line for oil and gas and implication for fossil resource prediction. Earth Syst. Sci.Data 12 (1), 577-590.
    Pang, X.Q., Jia, C.Z., Chen, J.Q., Li, M.W., Wang, W.Y., Hu, Q.H., Guo, Y.C., Chen, Z.X., Peng, J.W., Liu, K.Y., Wu, K.L., 2021. A unified model for the formation and distribution of both conventional and unconventional hydrocarbon reservoirs. Geosci. Front. 12(2), 695-711.
    Pang, X.Q., Jia, C.Z., Wang, W.Y., 2015a. Petroleum geology features and research developments of hydrocarbon accumulation in deep petroliferous basins. Pet. Sci. 12 (1), 1-53.
    Pang, H., Pang, X.Q., Zhou, L.M., Xiang, C.F., Hu, T., 2015b. Factors controlling hydrocarbon reservoir formation and distribution and prediction of favourable areas in the Jurassic Toutunhe Formation in the Fudong slope, Junggar Basin, China. Energy Explor. Exploit. 33 (6), 891-907. https://doi.org/10.1260/0144-5987.33.6.891.
    Pang, X.Q., Peng, J.W., Jiang, Z.X., Yang, H.J., Wang, P.W., Jiang, F.J., Wang, K., 2019. Hydrocarbon accumulation processes and mechanisms in Lower Jurassic tight sandstone reservoirs in the Kuqa subbasin, Tarim Basin, northwest China:A case study of the Dibei tight gas field. AAPG Bull. 103 (4), 769-796.
    Prokopov, C.A., Maximov, M.I., 1937. Oil field of the Kuban-Black sea region. 17th Int. Geol.Cong., Fascicle 5 pp. 9-30.
    Ridgley, J.L., Condon, S.M., Dubiel, R.F., Charpentier, R.R., Cook, T.A., Crovelli, R.A., Klett, T.R., Pollastro, R.M., Schenk, C.J., 2002. Assessment of undiscovered oil and gas resources of the San Juan Basin Province of New Mexico and Colorado. U.S. Geological Survey National Assessment of Oil and Gas Fact Sheet, FS-147-02. U.S. Geological Survey http://pubs.usgs.gov/fs/fs-147-02/fs-147-02.html.
    Robert, M.C., Suzanne, G.C., 2004. The origin of Jonah field, Northern Green River basin, Wyoming. In:Robinson, J.W., Shanley, K.W. (Eds.), Jonah Field:Case Study of a Tight-Gas Fluvial Reservoir:AAPG Studies in Geology. 52. The Discovery Group Inc., Denver, Colorado, U.S.A.
    Rose, P.R., Everett, J.R., Merin, I.S., 1986. Potential basin centered gas accumulation in Cretaceous Trinidad Sandstone, Raton basin, Colorado. In:Spencer, C.W., Mast, R.F.(Eds.), Geology of tight-gas reservoirs. AAPG Studies in Geology 25, 111-128.
    Sanders, C.W., 1939. Emba salt-dome region, USSR, and some comparisons with other salt-dome regions. AAPG Bull. 23, 492-516.
    Schelly, C., 2016. Unconventional oil and gas:The role of politics and proximity. Nat. Energy 1 (10), 16163.
    Schmoker, J.W., 1995. Method for assessing continuous-type (unconventional) hydrocarbon accumulations. U.S. Geological Survey.
    Schmoker, J.W., 1999. U.S. Geological Survey Assessment Model for Continuous (unconventional) Oil and Gas Accumulations-the" FORSPAN" Model. U.S. Dept. of the Interior, U.S. Geological Survey.
    Shanley, K.W., Cluff, R.M., Robinson, J.W., 2004. Factors controlling prolific gas production from low-permeability sandstone reservoirs:Implications for resource assessment, prospect development, and risk analysis. AAPG Bull. 88 (8), 1083-1121.
    Sovacool, B.K., 2007. Solving the oil independence problem:Is it possible? Energy Policy 35 (11), 5505-5514.
    Spencer, C.W., 1989. Review of characteristics of low-permeability gas reservoirs in western Unites States. AAPG Bull. 73 (5), 613-629.
    Tan, S.H., Barton, P.I., 2017. Optimal shale oil and gas investments in the United States. Energy 141, 398-422.
    Tang, X., Zhang, J.C., Shan, Y.S., Xiong, J.Y., 2012. Upper Paleozoic coal measures and unconventional natural gas systems of the Ordos Basin, China. Geosci. Front. 3 (6), 863-873.
    Thomas, M., Partridge, T., Harthorn, B.H., Pidgeon, N., 2017. Deliberating the perceived risks, benefits, and societal implications of shale gas and oil extraction by hydraulic fracturing in the US and UK. Nat. Energy 2 (5), 17054.
    Wang, W.Y., Pang, X.Q., Chen, Z.X, Chen, D.X., Yu, R., Luo, B., Zheng, T.Y., Li, H., 2019a. Statistical evaluation and calibration of model predictions of the oil and gas field distributions in superimposed basins:A case study of the Cambrian Longwangmiao Formation in the Sichuan Basin, China. Mar. Pet. Geol. 106, 42-61.
    Wang, W.Y., Pang, X.Q., Chen, Z.X, Chen, D.X., Zheng, T.Y., Luo, B., Li, J., Yu, R., 2019b. Quantitative Prediction of Oil and Gas Prospects of the Sinian-Lower Paleozoic in the Sichuan Basin in Central China. Energy 174, 861-872.
    Wang, W.Y., Pang, X.Q., Chen, Z.X., Chen, D.X., Ma, X.H., Zhu, W.P., Zheng, T.Y., Wu, K.L., Zhang, K., Ma, K.Y., 2020. Improved methods for determining effective sandstone reservoirs and evaluating hydrocarbon enrichment in petroliferous basins. Applied Energy 261 (114457).
    White, I.C., 1885. The geology of natural gas. Science 125, 521-522.
    Xu, Z.J., Liu, L.F., Wang, T.G., Wu, K.J., Dou, W.C., Song, X.P., Feng, C.Y., Li, X.Z., Ji, H.T., Yang, Y.S., Liu, X.X., 2017. Characteristics and controlling factors of lacustrine tight oil reservoirs of the Triassic Yanchang Formation Chang 7 in the Ordos Basin, China. Mar. Pet.Geol. 82, 265-296.
    Yang, K.M., Pang, X.Q., 2012. Formation Mechanism and Prediction Method of Tight Sandstone Gas Reservoirs. Science Press, Beijing (in Chinese).
    Zhang, J.C., 2006. Source-contacting gas:derived from deep basin gas or basin-centered gas. Natural Gas Industry 26 (2), 46-48.
    Zhao, J., Jin, Z., Hu, Q., Liu, K., Liu, G., Gao, B., Liu, Z., Zhang, Y., Wang, R., 2019. Geological controls on the accumulation of shale gas:A case study of the early Cambrian shale in the Upper Yangtze area. Mar. Pet. Geol. 107, 423-437.
    Zhao, J., Li, J., Wu, W., Cao, Q., Bai, Y., Er, C., 2019. The petroleum system:a new classification scheme based on reservoir qualities. Pet. Sci. 16 (2), 229-251.
    Zheng, T., Ma, X., Pang, X., Wang, W., Zheng, D., Huang, Y., Wang, X., Wang, K., 2019. Organic geochemistry of the Upper Triassic T3x5 source rocks and the hydrocarbon generation and expulsion characteristics in Sichuan Basin, central China. J. Pet. Sci.
    Eng. 173, 1340-1354.
    Zheng, T., Ma, X., Pang, X., Zheng, D., Wang, W., Wang, X., Zhang, K., Wang, K., Ma, K., et al., 2020. Hydrocarbon generation and expulsion features of the Upper Triassic Xujiahe Formation source rocks and their controlling effects on hydrocarbon accumulation in the Sichuan Basin, Central China. Geol. J. 55 (7), 4977-4996.
    Zhong, Y., Zhou, L., Tan, X., Lian, C., Liu, H., Liao, J., Hu, G., Liu, M., Gao, J., 2017. Lithofacies paleogeography mapping and reservoir prediction in tight sandstone strata:A case study from central Sichuan Basin, China. Geosci. Front. 8 (5), 961-975.
    Zhu, G.Y., Yang, H.J., Zhang, B., Su, J., Chen, L., Lu, Y.H., Liu, X.W., 2012. The geological feature and origin of Dina 2 large gas field in Kuqa Depression,Tarim Basin. Acta Petrologica Sinica 28 (8), 2479-2492.
    Zou, C.N., Tao, S.Z., Ping, T., Gao, X.H., Yang, Z., Guo, Q.L., Dong, D.Z., Li, X.J., 2011. Geological Features and Exploration for Tight Sand Gas, Shale Gas and Other Unconventional Oil and gas Resources in China. AAPG datapages lnc, Search and Discovery.
    Zou, C.N., Zhang, G.S.Z., Yang, Z., Tao, S., Hou, L., Zhu, R., Yuan, X., Ran, Q., Li, D., Wang, Z., 2013a. Geological concepts, characteristics, resource potential and key techniques of unconventional hydrocarbon:on unconventional petroleum geology. Petroleum Exploration and Development 40 (4), 385-399.
    Zou, C.N., Yang, Z., Tao, S.Z., Yuan, X.J., Zhu, R.K., Hou, L.H., Wu, S.T., Sun, L., Zhang, G.S., Bai, B., Wang, L., Gao, X.H., Pang, Z.L., 2013b. Continuous hydrocarbon accumulation over a large area as a distinguishing characteristic of unconventional petroleum:The Ordos Basin, North-Central China. Earth-Sci. Rev. 126, 358-369.
    Berkenpas, P.G., 1991. The Milk River shallow gas pool:Role of the updip water trap and connate water in gas production from the pool. In:Proceedings of the SPE Annual Technical Conference and Exhibition, Dallas, TX, USA, 6-9 October 1991. DOI: 10.2523/22922-MS
  • 加载中


    通讯作者: 陈斌, bchen63@163.com
    • 1. 

      沈阳化工大学材料科学与工程学院 沈阳 110142

    1. 本站搜索
    2. 百度学术搜索
    3. 万方数据库搜索
    4. CNKI搜索

    Article Metrics

    Article views (31) PDF downloads(7) Cited by()
    Proportional views


    DownLoad:  Full-Size Img  PowerPoint