High-salinity shale is a unique and promising shale-oil reservoir in continental basins. We have collected representative samples from different lithologies from wells in the Qianjiang Depression to test the pore structure and basic character from prospective high-salinity oil-bearing shales. We conducted field emission scanning electron microscopy and X-ray diffraction analyses to study the high-salinity shale pore morphology and composition, respectively. We used mercury injection capillary pressure to understand the high-salinity shale macropore distribution, and we used low-pressure nitrogen (N2) adsorption to study the mesopore distribution. The results show that the high-salinity shale-oil reservoir mainly is composed of carbonate (dolomite and calcite), clay, and saline minerals (anhydrite, glauberite, and halite). Many intergranular pores were developed in the high-salinity shale. The mesopores and macropores both were developed well in argillaceous dolomite. The average pore volume of macropores is 0.0588 ml/g, which accounts for approximately 59% of the total pore volume. Therefore, in the high-salinity shale-oil reservoirs that we tested, macropores were more important than other pores. The symbiosis of dolomite and calcite improved the porosity of the high-salinity shale-oil reservoir, and the salt minerals increased the pore complexity.

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