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AAPG Bulletin

Abstract

AAPG Bulletin, V. 91, No. 4 (April 2007), P. 501-521.

Copyright copy2007. The American Association of Petroleum Geologists. All rights reserved.

DOI:10.1306/12060606063

Modeling of gas generation from the Barnett Shale, Fort Worth Basin, Texas

Ronald J. Hill,1 Etuan Zhang,2 Barry Jay Katz,3 Yongchun Tang4

1Central Energy Resources Team, U.S. Geological Survey, Box 25046, Mississippi 939, Denver, Colorado 80225; [email protected]
2Shell International Exploration and Production Company, Houston, Texas 77001; [email protected]
3Chevron Corporation Energy Technology Company, Houston, Texas 77002; [email protected]
4Petroleum Energy amp Environment Research Center, California Institute of Technology, Covina, California 91722; [email protected]

ABSTRACT

The generative gas potential of the Mississippian Barnett Shale in the Fort Worth Basin, Texas, was quantitatively evaluated by sealed gold-tube pyrolysis. Kinetic parameters for gas generation and vitrinite reflectance (Ro) changes were calculated from pyrolysis data and the results used to estimate the amount of gas generated from the Barnett Shale at geologic heating rates. Using derived kinetics for Ro evolution and gas generation, quantities of hydrocarbon gas generated at Rosim 1.1% are about 230 L/t (7.4 scf/t) and increase to more that 5800 L/t (186 scf/t) at Rosim 2.0% for a sample with an initial total organic carbon content of 5.5% and Ro = 0.44%. The volume of shale gas generated will depend on the organic richness, thickness, and thermal maturity of the shale and also the amount of petroleum that is retained in the shale during migration. Gas that is reservoired in shales appears to be generated from the cracking of kerogen and petroleum that is retained in shales, and that cracking of the retained petroleum starts by Rosim 1.1%. This result suggests that the cracking of petroleum retained in source rocks occurs at rates that are faster than what is predicted for conventional siliciclastic and carbonate reservoirs, and that contact of retained petroleum with kerogen and shale mineralogy may be a critical factor in shale-gas generation. Shale-gas systems, together with overburden, can be considered complete petroleum systems, although the processes of petroleum migration, accumulation, and trap formation are different from what is defined for conventional petroleum systems.

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