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TitleMineral carbon MinC (%) from Rock-Eval analysis as a reliable and cost-effective measurement of carbonate contents in shale source and reservoir rocks
AuthorJiang, C; Chen, Z; Lavoie, D; Percival, J B; Kabanov, P
SourceMarine and Petroleum Geology vol. 83, (2017), 2017 p. 184-194,
Alt SeriesEarth Sciences Sector, Contribution Series 20160334
Mediapaper; on-line; digital
File formatpdf
Subjectsgeochemistry; fossil fuels; sedimentology; carbonates; shales; source rocks; reservoirs; carbon; dolomites; calcite; hydrocarbon geochemistry; x-ray diffraction; x-ray diffraction analyses; basins; sedimentary basins
Illustrationslocation maps; tables; formulae; graphs
ProgramShale-hosted petroleum resource assesment, Geoscience for New Energy Supply (GNES)
AbstractThe content (abundance) of carbonates in rocks is an important element for petroleum geochemists, geologists and engineers to consider during hydrocarbon exploration and production. Carbonate minerals can be related to the depositional environments of the source rocks and hence the type of organic matter that can be subsequently modified through diagenetic processes. The total carbonate content in shales can also be used to deduce their fracability as reservoir rock for shale gas/oil extraction. At present, mineralogical analysis by X-ray diffraction (XRD) is the most widely used technique in the oil and gas-related petrophysical and geochemical laboratories for identifying and quantifying carbonate minerals in rock samples. In contrast, the use of the total mineral carbon content parameter MinC (%) from Rock-Eval analysis has been limited despite (1) the parameter¿s effectiveness as demonstrated through instrument and methodology development; and (2) the presence of a large volume of Rock-Eval results due to its widespread use in the oil and gas industry.
In this study, we acquired XRD and Rock-Eval analytical results on over nine hundred rock samples ranging from Ordovician to Cretaceous age from four petroleum sedimentary basins in Canada. Least-squares regression analyses produce empirical equations with R2 values greater than 0.92 for the correlations between XRD total carbonate contents and the Rock-Eval MinC (%) values of six different suites of samples. This indicates that the MinC (%) values generated by Rock-Eval 6 and other instruments of similar capability can be used with confidence for estimating the amounts of total carbonates in sedimentary rock samples. While the correlation between the two types of carbonate content measurements is geology-specific, a global linear regression model (R2 of 0.97) based on the large combined data set has been proposed for approximating the total carbonate abundances based on Rock-Eval MinC (%) values.
Summary(Plain Language Summary, not published)
The percentage Mineral Carbon ( MinC (%)) is routinely generated from Rock-Eval analysis of source and reservoir rock samples. However, the application of MinC as a measurement of total carbonate contents in rocks has not been as well received as the other Rock-Eval parameters for hydrocarbon potential. We have collected Rock-Eval MinC values and XRD mineralogy data on over 900 samples ranging in age from Ordovician to Cretaceous from four different Canadian sedimentary basins. Statistical analysis of the data indicates that there is a strong linear correlation between the Rock-Eval MinC (%) values and the total carbonate contents from XRD analysis. This suggests that the Rock-Eval MinC parameter can be used with high confidence as a proxy for the content of total carbonates in rock samples.