Structural evolution and characterization of organic-rich shale from macroscopic to microscopic resolution: The significance of tectonic activity

Jian Gao, Xiaoshi Li, Guoxi Cheng, Hua Luo, Hongjian Zhu

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Shale gas exploration and development have taken significant strides in the relatively straightforward intra-basin stability zone and intra-basin weak deformation zone of marine shale in the Sichuan Basin, South China. In addition, the extra-basin strong tectonic modification zones have been actively explored. However, the results have been limited, which reveals the complexity of shale gas formation and preservation conditions in the context of multi-scale geological processes. These tectonic geological conditions have a significant impact on the shale gas content, while it has been difficult to figure out how tectonic deformation modifies reservoir structure and what specific mechanism causes shale gas content anomalies. Based on subjecting geologic samples to combined high-temperature and high-pressure experiments, this study summarizes the tectonic constraint mechanism of shale petrophysical structure evolution and its impact on shale gas storage, reveals the intrinsic connection and mechanism of shale pore-fracture and organic matter, inorganic mineral particle structure evolution and tectonic stress, and identifies the remodeling mechanism of the shale reservoir physical property change. The findings contribute to the theory of shale deformation and gas accumulation, as well as offer a scientific foundation for the exploration of marine shale gas in the complex tectonic zones outside the Sichuan Basin.

Document Type: Perspective

Cited as: Gao, J., Li, X., Cheng, G., Luo, H., Zhu, H. Structural evolution and characterization of organic-rich shale from macroscopic to microscopic resolution: The significance of tectonic activity. Advances in Geo-Energy Research, 2023, 10(2): 84-90.


Organic-rich shale, shale gas, structural deformation, Sichuan Basin

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