Marine and Petroleum Geology, 2014, Vol.56, p.255(11)
To link to full-text access for this article, visit this link: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.marpetgeo.2014.02.013 Byline: Barry Katz, Fang Lin Abstract: There has been a revival in hydrocarbon source rock characterization and development associated with growing interest in unconventional resources, where these fine-grained organic-rich rocks act as both source and reservoir. To-date, the exploration focus on shale reservoirs has been largely on marine systems. Lacustrine source rocks for conventional resources are geographically important, dominating regions such as China, Indonesia, and Brazil's resource-base. However, they have been generally untested for unconventional resources. There are a number of key differences in the nature of these hydrocarbon systems that should be considered when assessing whether lacustrine systems may represent future unconventional opportunities in areas where the conventional resource-base is dominated by lacustrine-sourced oil. Among the key differences between these depositional systems is the greater sensitivity to high frequency climatic variability within lacustrine systems. Lacustrine systems are highly sensitive to changes in the balance between precipitation and evaporation, which may lead to rapid changes in lake level, potentially exceeding 600 m. These changes in depositional conditions are geologically rapid and may occur over periods of thousands of years. Such changes can reduce the areal extent of potentially thick source rock intervals to only those portions of a basin where a permanent deep lake was present. Thus the core unconventional target area may be geographically limited compared with their marine counterpart. Although potentially areally limited, a review of many lacustrine source rocks suggests that their thicknesses are often significantly greater than marine source rocks. An examination of the more distal portions of lacustrine systems, where better source rock potential is present reveals that there is generally limited connectivity between source and conventional reservoir. In these settings, such as the Wind River basin (Waltman Shale), the hydrocarbons remain trapped within the shales, potentially leading to over-pressured hydrocarbon charged systems. Such conditions suggest that although areally limited, viable unconventional targets may exist, if suitable reservoir conditions are present. Finally, the character of the oils produced is different in these settings, with lacustrine oils being waxy and displaying different hydrocarbon generation and cracking kinetics. High wax oils display distinct flow characteristics, being more viscous, and may offer different production challenges than their non-waxy marine equivalents. Additionally, differences in their cracking kinetics may indicate that the timing of gas generation for shale gas plays may differ significantly from marine systems. Author Affiliation: Chevron Energy Technology Company (ETC), Houston, TX 77379, USA Article History: Received 29 October 2013; Revised 16 February 2014; Accepted 20 February 2014
Rain ; Shale Oils
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