Petroleum accumulation in the deeply buried reservoirs in the northern Dongying Depression, Bohai Bay Basin, China

new insights from fluid inclusions, natural gas geochemistry, and 1-D basin modeling

Hongwei Ping*, Honghan Chen, Guanghua Jia

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    15 Citations (Scopus)


    The deeply buried reservoirs (DBRs) from the Lijin, Shengtuo and Minfeng areas in the northern Dongying Depression of the Bohai Bay Basin, China exhibit various petroleum types (black oil-gas condensates) and pressure systems (normal pressure-overpressure) with high reservoir temperatures (154–185 °C). The pressure-volume-temperature-composition (PVTX) evolution of petroleum and the processes of petroleum accumulation were reconstructed using integrated data from fluid inclusions, stable carbon isotope data of natural gas and one-dimensional basin modeling to trace the petroleum accumulation histories.

    The results suggest that (1) the gas condensates in the Lijin area originated from the thermal cracking of highly mature kerogen in deeper formations. Two episodes of gas condensate charging, which were evidenced by the trapping of non-fluorescent gas condensate inclusions, occurred between 29-25.5 Ma and 8.6–5.0 Ma with strong overpressure (pressure coefficient, Pc = 1.68–1.70), resulting in the greatest contribution to the present-day gas condensate accumulation; (2) the early yellow fluorescent oil charge was responsible for the present-day black oil accumulation in well T764, while the late blue-white oil charge together with the latest kerogen cracked gas injection resulted in the present-day volatile oil accumulation in well T765; and (3) the various fluorescent colors (yellow, blue-white and blue) and the degree of bubble filling (Fv) (2.3–72.5%) of the oil inclusions in the Minfeng area show a wide range of thermal maturity (API gravity ranges from 30 to 50°), representing the charging of black oil to gas condensates. The presence of abundant blue-white fluorescent oil inclusions with high Grain-obtaining Oil Inclusion (GOI) values (35.8%, usually >5% in oil reservoirs) indicate that a paleo-oil accumulation with an approximate API gravity of 39–40° could have occurred before 25 Ma, and gas from oil cracking in deeper formations was injected into the paleo-oil reservoir from 2.8 Ma to 0 Ma, resulting in the present-day gas condensate oil accumulation. This oil and gas accumulation model results in three oil and gas distribution zones: 1) normal oil reservoirs at relatively shallow depth; 2) gas condensate reservoirs that originated from the mixture of oil cracking gas with a paleo-oil reservoir at intermediate depth; and 3) oil-cracked gas reservoirs at deeper depth.

    The retardation of organic matter maturation and oil cracking by high overpressure could have played an important role in the distribution of different origins of gas condensate accumulations in the Lijin and Minfeng areas. The application of oil and gas accumulation models in this study is not limited to the Dongying Depression and can be applied to other overpressured rift basins.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)70-93
    Number of pages24
    JournalMarine and Petroleum Geology
    Publication statusPublished - Feb 2017


    • Oil inclusion
    • Fluorescence spectroscopy
    • PVT thermodynamics modeling
    • Carbon isotope
    • Oil cracking
    • Gas injection
    • Gas condensate
    • Overpressure

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