Porosity characteristics of different lithofacies in marine shale: A case study of Neoproterozoic Sinian Doushantuo formation in Yichang area, China
Journal of Petroleum Science and Engineering
School of Engineering
Funding information available at: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.petrol.2019.106856
This study evaluates the pore network systems in the Neoproterozoic Sinian Doushantuo (Z1d) shale from the Yichang area in the Middle Yangtze region. All samples were classified based on their lithologies and examined by geochemical and petrographic analysis, assisted with carbon dioxide/nitrogen (CO2/N2) adsorption, mercury injection capillary pressure (MICP) and focused ion beam-scanning electron microscopy (FIB-SEM) to fully characterize the nanoscale porosity of the different shale lithofacies. The calcareous shale lithofacies group (I-C), mixed shale lithofacies group (II-M) and siliceous shale lithofacies group (III-S) were identified via ternary mineralogy diagrams. Clearly, different lithofacies had different porosities, pore volume, surface area and pore-size distribution (ranging from 0.3 nm to 36 μm). The mixed shale lithofacies group (II-M) had the highest total pore volumes, followed by the calcareous shale lithofacies group (I-C) and the siliceous shale lithofacies group (III-S). Peak values (2–20 nm, 20–50 nm, 50–60 nm and 90–200 nm) obtained from N2 adsorption were identified as organic matter (OM) pores, dissolution intraparticle (intraP) pores and intercrystalline pores (using SEM images analysis). Porosity shows a non-monotonic trend with TOC content and a maximum at 4.5–5.5 wt% TOC, similar relationships between TOC and mesopore/macropore volumes, due to pore collapse and compaction. The FIB-SEM images revealed solid bitumen and two types of kerogen in the examined shale samples; these different organic matter types had clearly distinct pore characteristics. While the smaller OM particles mobilized and converted into solid bitumen in which OM pores were larger and more abundant, the large-scale OM particles were most likely non-porous inert maceral and sponge-like porous amorphous kerogen. Overall TOC content and organic types are the key controlling factors to the nanoscale porosity development in the Doushantuo Shale, and the Sinian Doushantuo shale (in the Yichang area) has great potential for shale gas exploration and exploitation in South China.