Abstract

Similar to mineral composition and organic geochemical features, laminae development significantly influences pore structure. Taking the lower third member of the Shahejie Shale (Es3l), Zhanhua Sag, Eastern China as the research object, we introduced various methods to analyze the influence of laminae development on pore structure, including thin section observations, field emission scanning electron microscopy, gas adsorption, high-pressure mercury injection, nano-computed tomography (CT), quantitative evaluation of minerals by scanning electron microscopy, and spontaneous imbibition. We draw the conclusions that various minerals present a mixed distribution in nonlaminated shale, whereas laminated shale is characterized by alternating bright and dark laminae. Dark laminae comprise clay and quartz, whereas bright laminae consist of calcite. Microfractures are abundant at the edges of the bright and dark laminae. Nonlaminated shale possesses a pore volume (PV) of 0.00413  mL/g and a specific surface area (SSA) of 1.56  m2/g. In contrast, laminated shale has a PV of 0.01252  mL/g and an SSA of 3.12  m2/g with good reservoir property. Pores, especially macropores and micropores, are much more developed in laminated shale than in nonlaminated shale. Interconnected pores in sheet form are extremely developed in laminated shale, whereas most of the interconnected pores in nonlaminated shale are distributed in isolated spherical and tubular forms. Because of the abundant interconnected pores and throats, laminated shale presents good connectivity. The slopes of the spontaneous imbibition curves in the first and second stages for laminated shale are greater than those for nonlaminated shale. Laminae development could provide microfractures as dominant pathways for fluid migration as well as promote the interconnection of pores, greatly increasing the connectivity of shale reservoirs.

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