CONDENSATES IN THE PY30-1 STRUCTURE, PANYU UPLIFT, PEARL RIVER MOUTH BASIN, SOUTH CHINA SEA: EVIDENCE FOR HYDROTHERMAL ACTIVITY ASSOCIATED WITH PETROLEUM MIGRATION AND ACCUMULATION

Xiaowen Guo*1 2, Sheng He1, Keyu Liu3, Feng Cao2

Hesheng Shi4 and Junzhang Zhu4

1 Key Laboratory of Tectonics and Petroleum Resources (China University of Geosciences), Ministry of Education, Wuhan 430074, China.

2 PetroChina Exploration and Development Research Institute, Beijing100083, China.

3 Earth Science and Resource Engineering, PO Box 1130 Bentley, WA 6102, Australia.

4 CNOOC Shenzhen Branch, Guangzhou 510240, China.

* Corresponding author, email: cuggxw@163.com

Condensates are present in the PY30-1 structure in the Panyu Uplift, Pearl River Mouth Basin. Biomarkers and compound-specific stable carbon isotope ratios of three condensate and two source rock samples indicate that the condensates were generated by lacustrine mudstones and coals in the Oligocene Enping Formation with a minor contribution from mudstones in the Eocene Wenchang Formation. Elevated vitrinite reflectance values, high smectite-illite transformation ratios, and elevated fluid inclusion homogenization temperatures (about 100C higher than normal borehole temperatures) point to the influence of hydrothermal fluids at the PY30-1 structure. Hydrocarbon migration was found to have occurred at the same time as hydrothermal activity.

Modelling of formation pressure evolution in the Wenchang and Enping Formation source rocks in the Baiyun Depression, adjacent to the south of the Panyu Uplift, suggest that there were three episodes of overpressure release at approximately 40-37 Ma, 33-31 Ma and 16-10 Ma. Overpressure release was probably induced by uplift and erosion during the Zhuqiong, Nanhai and Dongsha phases of tectonic deformation, respectively. The third episode of overpressure release coincided with the main phase of hydrocarbon migration.

The accumulation of condensates at the PY30-1 structure probably followed hydrocarbon expulsion from source rocks as a result of overpressure release in the adjacent Baiyun Depression. Vertical migration into overlying reservoir rocks occurred through faults associated with a fluid diapir which is present at the core of the PY30-1 structure. The faults are pathways along which petroleum can migrate up to shallow reservoirs.

JPG Home (opens in this window)