The mechanism of unconventional hydrocarbon formation: Hydrocarbon self-sealing and intermolecular forces
【摘要】：The successful development of unconventional hydrocarbons has significantly increased global hydrocarbon resources, promoted the growth of global hydrocarbon production and made a great breakthrough in classical oil and gas geology. The core mechanism of conventional hydrocarbon accumulation is the preservation of hydrocarbons by trap enrichment and buoyancy, while unconventional hydrocarbons are characterized by continuous accumulation and non-buoyancy accumulation. It is revealed that the key of formation mechanism of the unconventional reservoirs is the self-sealing of hydrocarbons driven by intermolecular forces. Based on the behavior of intermolecular forces and the corresponding self-sealing, the formation mechanisms of unconventional oil and gas can be classified into three categories:(1) thick oil and bitumen, which are dominated by large molecular viscous force and condensation force;(2) tight oil and gas, shale oil and gas and coal-bed methane, which are dominated by capillary forces and molecular adsorption; and(3) gas hydrate, which is dominated by intermolecular clathration. This study discusses in detail the characteristics, boundary conditions and geological examples of self-sealing of the five types of unconventional resources, and the basic principles and mathematical characterization of intermolecular forces. This research will deepen the understanding of formation mechanisms of unconventional hydrocarbons, improve the ability to predict and evaluate unconventional oil and gas resources, and promote the development and production techniques and potential production capacity of unconventional oil and gas.