We present a quantitative prediction of total organic carbon (TOC) content for shale-gas development in the Chang Ning gas field of the Sichuan Basin (China). We have used the rock-physics analysis method to define the geophysical characteristics of the reservoir and the most sensitive elastic parameter to TOC content. We established a quantitative prediction template of the TOC content by rock-physics modeling. Well data and 3D seismic data were combined for prestack simultaneous inversion to obtain the most sensitive elastic parameter data volume. According to the prediction template, we transformed the sensitive elastic parameter data volume to the TOC content volume. The rock-physics analysis indicates that the reservoir with a high TOC content in the Lower Silurian Longmaxi Formation (Fm) of the Chang Ning (CN) gas field is characterized by low density, low P-wave velocity (VP), low S-wave velocity (VS), low Poisson’s ratio (PR), and low ratio of P-wave velocity to S-wave velocity (VP/VS). Density is the most sensitive elastic parameter to TOC content. The rock-physics model suggests that density is negatively correlated with TOC content, and the relationship between them changes under different porosities. The reservoir with high TOC content is mainly distributed at the bottom of the Longmaxi Fm and in the central and east central area of the study field. The quantitative prediction results are in good agreement with the log interpretation and production test. Therefore, it has important implications for the efficient development of the shale-gas reservoir in the basin.

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