Advances in Resources Research
Online ISSN : 2436-178X
Review Paper
The distribution patterns of organic-rich shale and exploration prospect of shale gas in China
Jinchuan ZhangLamei LinXuan TangShengling JiangYuxi Li
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2022 Volume 2 Issue 1 Pages 16-30


Shale gas is a kind of unconventional natural gas that mainly exists both adsorbed and free gas in shale. Many types of rich organic matter mud shale formations are extensively developed in China. According to the geological background of rich organic matter shale development and shale gas geology conditions, shale in China is divided into south, north (north China-northeast), northwest, and Qinghai-Tibet. Among them, south area shale has large monolayer thickness with Paleozoic marine deposits mainly, high thermal evolution degree, strong late tectonic, rich shale gas resources; north area shale’s enrichment conditions are diversified, Paleozoic-Mesozoic-Cenozoic shale being completely developed with obvious rolling migration sedimentary characteristics, frequently high thin interbedding changes and obvious sedimentary phase belt partition; northwest type centers on Paleozoic and Mesozoic, the sedimentary type being complete with high organic matter abundance and relatively low thermal evolution degree of organic matter. Yangtze Paleozoic, Ordos Basin Mesozoic, and Bohai Bay Basin Cenozoic are favorable areas of shale gas exploration and development. It is of great significance to explore China’s shale gas resources and exploration and development practice, which can not only provide guidance for the development direction of China’s shale gas but also provide a useful reference for the development of shale gas industry in other countries and regions.

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