In recent years, gas reservoirs containing high levels of hydrogen sulfide have been found in salinized lacustrine carbonate rocks in the upper member of the Lower Ganchaigou Formation (E32) in the Yingxiongling area of the western Qaidam Basin. This poses great safety risks to drilling and development. To clarify the genetic mechanisms of hydrogen sulfide, we have analyzed the geochemical characteristics and sulfur isotopes of natural gas and predicted the distribution of hydrogen sulfide. The results show that (1) natural gas in the Yingxiongling area is dominated by wet gas, with relatively high nonhydrocarbon content. The gas is E32oil-type gas in a mature stage. (2) Hydrogen sulfide in natural gas reservoirs is less likely to originate from biological and volcanic geneses, and it is primarily a product of thermochemical sulfate reduction. The high-quality Oligocene source rocks distributed across a large area, the saline-deposit formations widely distributed in the western Qaidam Basin, and the high geothermal gradients and large numbers of developed pore-type reservoirs, all combine to provide favorable conditions for the formation of hydrogen sulfide reservoirs. (3) During the E32 deposition period, rock salt developed in the center of the lake basin, the sealing conditions for oil and gas were favorable, and the formation temperature was high during the reservoir formation period. Development of subsalt porous reservoirs is conducive to enrichment of hydrogen sulfide, and comprehensive prediction indicates that the subsalt formation in the Central Yingxiongling-Ganchaigou area is an enrichment zone for hydrogen sulfide. The research results are of considerable significance for the exploration and deployment, and the production safety, of hydrogen sulfide-containing reservoirs.

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