Oil & Gas Science and Technology (Jan 2021)

The formation mechanism of authigenic chlorite in tight sandstone and its effect on tight oil adsorption during hydrocarbon filling

  • Zhou Qianshan,
  • Li Chao,
  • Chen Guojun,
  • Lyu Chengfu,
  • Qu Xuefeng,
  • Ma Xiaofeng,
  • Li Chengze,
  • Lei Qihong,
  • Xie Qichao

Journal volume & issue
Vol. 76
p. 39


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Authigenic chlorite, which is frequently found in sandstone, has a controlling effect on the reservoirs in which tight oil is adsorbed during hydrocarbon filling. In this study, the content, occurrence state, timing, mechanism and influence of authigenic chlorite on the micro-occurrence states of tight oil were studied using Thin Section (TS), Fluorescent Thin Section (FTS), X-Ray Diffraction (XRD), Field Emission-Scanning Electron Microscopy (FE-SEM), Environmental Scanning Electron Microscopy (ESEM), and Energy Dispersive Spectroscopy (EDS). The results indicate: (1) a spatial coupling between chlorite development, a brackish water delta front facies depositional environment, and biotite-rich arkosic sandstone. (2) Authigenic chlorite can be divided into three types: grain-coating chlorite, pore-lining chlorite, and rosette chlorite. Chlorite forms after early compaction but before other diagenetic phases, and grows via precipitation from pore waters that contain products released during the dissolution of volcanic rock fragments and biotites. Porewater is also pressure-released from feldspars and mudstone. (3) The micro-occurrence states of tight oil can be divided into five types: emulsion form, cluster form, throat form, thin-film form, and the isolated or agglomerated particle form. (4) During hydrocarbon filling, tight oil mainly occurs on the surface of grain-coating and pore-lining chlorite in the form of a thin film, the granular or agglomerated forms are mainly enriched within the intercrystalline pores within the authigenic chlorite, and the cluster forms are mainly enriched in dissolution pores. Isolated or agglomerated particles of tight oil primarily occur in the intercrystalline pores of the rosette chlorite. (5) The specific surface area and the authigenic chlorite’s adsorption potential of authigenic chlorite control the micro-occurrence of tight oil on the surface of the chlorite and in intercrystalline pores. The adsorption capacity of chlorite lies in the following order: pore-lining chlorite intercrystalline pores > rosette chlorite > chlorite in feldspar dissolution pores > pore-lining chlorite surface > grain-coating chlorite intercrystalline pores > grain-coating chlorite surface.