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Discussion papers
https://doi.org/10.5194/essd-2019-72
© Author(s) 2019. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
https://doi.org/10.5194/essd-2019-72
© Author(s) 2019. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Submitted as: data description paper 19 Jun 2019

Submitted as: data description paper | 19 Jun 2019

Review status
A revised version of this preprint was accepted for the journal ESSD and is expected to appear here in due course.

The Depth Limit for the Formation and Occurrence of Fossil Fuel Resources

Xiongqi Pang1,2, Chengzao Jia1,3, Kun Zhang2, Maowen Li4, Youwei Wang2,5, Junwen Peng6, Boyuan Li2, and Junqing Chen1,2 Xiongqi Pang et al.
  • 1State Key Laboratory of Petroleum Resources and Prospecting, China University of Petroleum, Beijing, 102249, China
  • 2College of Geosciences, China University of Petroleum, Beijing, 102249, China
  • 3Research Institute of Petroleum Exploration and Development, PetroChina, Beijing, 100083, China
  • 4State Key Laboratory of Shale Oil and Gas Enrichment Mechanisms and Effective Development, SINOPEC Exploration and Production Research Institute, Beijing, 100083, China
  • 5Department of Geosciences and Engineering, Delft University of Technology, Stevinweg 1, 2628 CN Delft, the Netherlands
  • 6Bureau of Economic Geology, University of Texas at Austin, Austin, TX 78713, USA

Abstract. Fossil resources are valuable wealth given to human beings by nature. Many mysteries related to them have been revealed such as the origin time and distribution area, but their vertical distribution depth has not been confirmed for people’s different understanding of their origin and the big depth variations from basin to basin. Geological and geochemical data of 13,634 source rock samples from 1,286 exploration wells in six representative petroliferous basins are examined to study their Active Source Rock Depth Limits (ASDL), defined in this study as the maximum burial depth of active source rocks beyond which the source rocks no longer generate or expel hydrocarbons and become inactive, to identify the maximum depth for fossil fuel resources distribution. Theoretically, the maximum depth for the ASDLs of fossil fuel resources ranges from 3,000 m to 16,000 m, while their thermal maturities (Ro) are almost the same with Ro≈3.5±0.5 %. A higher heat flow and more oil-prone kerogen are associated with a shallower ASDL. Active source rocks and the discovered 21.6 billion tons of reserves in six representative basins in China and 52,926 oil and gas reservoirs in the 1,186 basins over the world are found to be distributed above the ASDL, illustrating the universality of such kind of depth limit. The data are deposited in the repository of the PANGAEA database: https://doi.org/10.1594/PANGAEA.900865 (Pang et al., 2019).

Xiongqi Pang et al.

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Xiongqi Pang et al.

Data sets

Geological and geochemical data of 13634 source rock samples from 1286 exploration wells and 116489 porosity data from target layers in the six petroliferous basins of China X. Pang, C. Jia, K. Zhang, M. Li, Y. Wang, J. Peng, B. Li, and J. Chen https://doi.org/10.1594/PANGAEA.900865

Xiongqi Pang et al.

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Latest update: 21 Feb 2020
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Short summary
Based on geochemical data of 13634 source rock samples from 1286 wells and 116489 drilling results for oil and gas from 4978 wells in six major basins of China, we proposed the concept of Active Source Rock Depth Limit. It can be used to clarify and predict the maximum depth of fossil fuels distribution in sedimentary basins. This study provides fundamental information for deep hydrocarbon exploration, but also advance the understanding of the vertical distribution of fossil fuels on our planet.
Based on geochemical data of 13634 source rock samples from 1286 wells and 116489 drilling...
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