Determination of Time of Oil Cracking into Gas in Weiyuan Paleo-Oil Pool in Sichuan Basin, South China

Document Type: Research Paper


Petroleum Exploration and Production Research Institute, SINOPEC, Beijing, China


Weiyuan gas field, located in the Sichuan basin of south China, is a large marine gas field with the oldest reservoir (the Sinian sequences) in south China. The hydrocarbon origin of the gas field has long been debated by petroleum geologists. Recently, it was recognized that a paleo-oil pool maybe the significant contributor to the gas field. Consequently, when the paleo-oil pool had been cracked into gas has become an interesting topic. Actually, the time determination of oil cracking into gas is of significance to marine gas reservoir exploration in south China, because it is a pervasive hydrocarbon resource of marine gas reservoirs in south China. Characteristics of the gas composition, fluid inclusion, and bitumen in Sinian reservoir show that the present-day Weiyuan gas field originates from a paleo-oil pool cracked at high temperature. Data collected from the previous documents show that the temperature window of oil cracking into gas is around 160 to 210 °C on a geological time scale. On the basis of vitrinite reflectance, the heat flow history and erosion thickness in Weiyuan area were reconstructed. With the combination of heat flow history and burial history, the temperature history the paleo-oil pool experienced was reconstructed. The time of the paleo-oil cracking into gas is determined according to the oil cracking temperature window. The results show that the oil in the Weiyuan Sinian paleo-oil pool cracked into gas during the late Triassic to Eocene age.


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