Pore-throat sizes in siliciclastic rocks form a continuum from the submillimeter to the nanometer scale. That continuum is documented in this article using previously published data on the pore and pore-throat sizes of conventional reservoir rocks, tight-gas sandstones, and shales. For measures of central tendency (mean, mode, median), pore-throat sizes (diameters) are generally greater than 2 μm in conventional reservoir rocks, range from about 2 to 0.03 μm in tight-gas sandstones, and range from 0.1 to 0.005 μm in shales. Hydrocarbon molecules, asphaltenes, ring structures, paraffins, and methane, form another continuum, ranging from 100 Å (0.01 μm) for asphaltenes to 3.8 Å (0.00038 μm) for methane. The pore-throat size continuum provides a useful perspective for considering (1) the emplacement of petroleum in consolidated siliciclastics and (2) fluid flow through fine-grained source rocks now being exploited as reservoirs.

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