Penghui Zhang1,2,3, Yong Il Lee4* and Jinliang Zhang5

1 College of Oceanography, Hohai University, Nanjing 210098, China.

2 Shandong Provincial Key Laboratory of Depositional Mineralization & Sedimentary Mineral, Shandong University of Science and Technology, Qingdao 266590, China.

3 Laboratory for Marine Mineral Resources, Qingdao National Laboratory for Marine Science and Technology, Qingdao 266071, China.

4 School of Earth and Environmental Sciences, Seoul National University, Seoul 08826, Korea.

5 School of Natural Resources, Beijing Normal University, Beijing 100875, China.

* Corresponding author, email: lee2602@plaza.snu.ac.kr

Key words: tight sandstones, diagenesis, reservoir quality, Yanchang Formation, Triassic, Ordos Basin, China.

Tight oil-bearing sandstones in the Chang 4+5, 6 and 7 Members of the Upper Triassic Yanchang Formation in the Ordos Basin, north-central China, in general consist of fine-grained, moderately- to poorly-sorted lithic arkoses (average Q53F30R17) deposited in a fluvial-dominated lacustrine-deltaic environment. Diagenetic modifications to the sandstones include compaction and cementation by calcite, dolomite, ankerite, quartz, chlorite, kaolinite and illite, as well as partial dissolution of feldspars and minor rock fragments. Porosity ranges up to ~7% of the rock volume and was reduced more by cementation than by compaction. Fractures (tectonic macrofractures and diagenetic microfractures) provide important oil migration pathways and enhance the sandstones’ storage potential. The pore network is heterogeneous due to processes related to deposition and diagenesis, and there are considerable spatial variations in porosity and pore connectivity. The pore system includes both macropores and micropores, and pore network variations depend on the type and distribution of authigenic cements.
An analysis of the diagenetic and porosity characteristics of core samples of the Yanchang Formation sandstones from wells in the Youfangzhuang oilfield resulted in the recognition of six petrofacies (A-F) whose characteristics allow reservoir quality to be predicted. Fluid performance analysis for selected sandstone samples using nuclear magnetic resonance combined with helium porosity and air permeability shows that high permeability and large pore throats together result in high movable fluid saturation potential, and that effective pore spaces and throats are beneficial for hydrocarbon storage and flow. Relatively higher porosity and permeability tend to occur in petrofacies B sandstones containing abundant pore-lining chlorite with lesser kaolinite and minor carbonate cements, and in petrofacies C sandstones with abundant pore-filling kaolinite cement but little chlorite and carbonate cements. These petrofacies represent the best reservoir-quality intervals.
A reservoir quality prediction model is proposed combined with the petrofacies classification framework. This model will assist future development of tight sandstone reservoirs both in the Upper Triassic Yanchang Formation in the Ordos Basin and elsewhere.

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