The Enrichment Conditions and Resource Potential of Marine-Continental Transitional Coal-Measure Shale Gas: A Case Study of the Permo-Carboniferous Systerm in the Huanghebei Coalfield of North China


Coal-measure shale gas
Sedimentary environment
Physical characteristics of the reservoirs
Shale gas enrichment
Resource potential
Huanghebei Coalfield.

How to Cite

Zhou Minglei, Yin Lusheng, Shao Yubao, Wang Huaihong, Zhang Xinbin, Wu Yue, Wang Dongdong. The Enrichment Conditions and Resource Potential of Marine-Continental Transitional Coal-Measure Shale Gas: A Case Study of the Permo-Carboniferous Systerm in the Huanghebei Coalfield of North China. Glob. J. Earth Sci. Eng. [Internet]. 2020 Oct. 19 [cited 2022 Jun. 30];7(1):22-36. Available from:


 Coal-measure shale gas is considered to be an important unconventional oil and gas resource in coal measures. At the present time, coal-measure shale gas has not been well studied. However, in recent years, such potential resources have received increasing attention. In this research investigation, the coal measures of the Permo-Carboniferous Period in North China’s Huanghebei Coalfield were taken as the research object in order to evaluate the enrichment conditions and resource potential of the coal-measure shale gas. The results were as follows: 1) A variety of sedimentary environments were developed during the Late Paleozoic Era in the Huanghebei Coalfield region. Lagoon sediment had mainly developed in the Taiyuan Formation, which was conducive to the high-intensity development of shale. In addition, interdistributary bay-floodplain sediment had developed in the Shanxi Formation, which was also favorable to the development of shale; 2) The average value of the total organic carbon (TOC) in the shale of the Taiyuan and Shanxi Formations in the study area was found to be more than 2%. The main type of organic matter was Type II kerogen, followed by Type III kerogen. Furthermore, the thermal evolution degree of the organic matter was considered to be in the mature stage, which indicated a good hydrocarbon generation potential; 3) The gas bearing intervals of the shale in the Taiyuan and Shanxi Formations in the study area were mainly variegated shale, mudstone, carbonaceous shale, and silty mudstone (shale), which belong to the categories of ultra-low permeability and low porosity reservoirs; 4) The average gas content of mud shale in the Taiyuan and Shanxi Formations ranges between 0.645 and 3.34 m3/t. The shale tends to have large burial depths and well-developed caprock, which is conducive to the preservation of shale gas; 5) This study’s comprehensive analysis results showed that the mud shale in the Taiyuan and Shanxi Formations have good hydrocarbon generation potential. A favorable area was delineated in the middle of the Huanghebei Coalfield, and a NE-trending belt distribution was evident along the Pandian-Qihe-Biaobaisi. In summary, the three delineated perspective areas were determined to be the Dulangkou-Zhaoguan prospect area; Yuchengnan prospect area; and Sangzidian prospect area, respectively.


Zhang JC, Jin ZJ, Yuan MS. Mechanism and distribution of shale gas reservoir. Natural Gas Industry 2004; 24(7): 15-18.

Zhang JC, Nie HK, Xu B, et al. Geological conditions of shale gas reservoir in Sichuan Basin.Natural Gas Industry 2008; 28(2): 151-156.

Wang SJ, Wang LS, Huang JL, et al. Conditions for silurian shale gas accumulation in The Upper Yangtze Region. Natural Gas Industry 2009; 29(05): 45-50+137.

Zou CN, Dong DZ, Wang SJ, et al. Formation mechanism, geological characteristics and resource potential of shale gas in China.Petroleum Exploration and Development 2010; 37(06): 641-653.

Yang ZH, Han ZY, LI ZM, et al. Characteristics, models and implications of shale gas accumulation in a typical north American Craton Basin. Petroleum and Natural Gas Geology 2013; 34(04): 463-470.

Wang XZ, Zhang JC, Cao JZ, et al. A Preliminary Study on the evaluation of continental Shale Gas Resources: A case study of Chang-7 section of Mesozoic in Zhiluo-Xiasiwan Bay Area. Geoscience Front 2012; 19(2): 192-197.

Tang X, Zhang JC, Wang Z, et al. Shale characteristics in the southeastern Ordos Basin, China: Implications for hydrocarbon accumulation conditions and the potential of continental shales. International Journal of Coal Geology 2014, 128-129: 32-46.

Li YX, Nie HK, Long PY. Development characteristics of Shale rich in organic matter and Shale Gas Strategic Selection in China. Natural Gas Industry 2009; 29(12): 115- 119.

Wang DD, Shao LY, Li ZX, et al. Hydrocarbon generation characteristics, reserving performance and preservation conditions of continental coal measure shale gas: A case study of Mid-Jurassic shale gas in the Yanan Formation, Ordos Basin. Journal of Petroleum Science and Engineering 2016; 145 (2016) 609–628.

Li Y, Wang YB, Meng SZ, et al. Progress and prospect of geological basic theory of coal measure unconventional gas co-mining. Acta Coal Sinica 2020; 45(4): 1406-1418.

Wang HM. Distribution law of coal seam and Suggestions on water control in Huanghebei Coalfield, Shandong province. Shandong Land and Resources 2017; 33(09): 26-30.

Zhang SM, Li ZX, Li W, et al. Sedimentary characteristics of the Permo-Carboniferous Taiyuan Formation in the Coalfield, Huanghebei, Shandong. Acta Geographica Sinica 2008(04): 414-426.

Zhao LC. Analysis on the regularity and cause of formation of special coal quality in Xinyang Minefield of the Huanghebei Coalfield. Shandong Coal Science and Technology 2005(04): 51-52.

Zhao XG. Analysis of coalbed methane storage conditions in the Huanghebei Coalfield and adjacent areas. Shandong University of Science and Technology 2007.

Chen SY, Liu HJ. Paleogeographic features of the PermoCarboniferous Period lithofacies in the east of the north China platform. China regional Geology 1997; 16(4): 379- 386.

Qian H, Li M, Xiao CT, et al. Study on oil-bearing properties of Late Jurassic reefs in Anduo area, northern Tibet. Journal of Yangtze University (Natural Science Edition) 2011; 8(08): 57-59.

Chen JP, Zhao CY, He ZH. Discussion on evaluation criteria of hydrocarbon generation potential of coal-measure organic matter. Exploration and Development of Petroleum 1997; (01): 1-5+91.

Song DJ, Tuo JC, Wang YT, et al. Advances in the study of nano-scale pore structure characteristics of organic rich shale. Acta Sedigraphica Sinica 2019; 37 (06): 1309-1324.

Liu JT, Qing Z, Zhang P, et al. Source rock evaluation and oil source analysis of tight reservoirs in Malang Sag. Special Reservoirs 2015; 22(06): 35-39+142.

Weng K, Li X, Li RX, et al. Evaluation of hydrocarbon source rocks in the Upper Paleozoic in the southeast of Ordos Basin and prediction of favorable areas. Special Hydrocarbon Reservoirs 2012; 19(05): 21-25+151-152.

Qin JZ, Liu BQ, Guo JY. Evaluation criteria for carbonate source rocks. Petroleum Experimental Geology 2004; 26 (3): 281-286.

Lv YN, Huang JG, Chen S, et al. A review of maturity testing methods for highly evolved shale organic matter. Science and Technology Communication 2012; 4 (13): 31-32.

Gao DY, Hu BL, Liu HH, Xu HJ. Geochemical characteristics analysis and hydrocarbon generation potential evaluation of shale in Huainan Coalfield. Coal Science and Technology 2017; 45 (05): 198-204.

Gan H, Zhang H, Song YT. Research on recoverable parameters of shale gas. Complex Reservoirs 2015; 8 (03): 22-26+38.

Lu ZG, Li Q, Li JB, et al. Research progress on damage mechanism of shale reservoirs. Fault-block Oil and Gas Field 2012; 19 (05): 629-633.

Wang XQ, Zhai ZQ, Jin X, et al. Research progress of shale gas and its adsorption and diffusion. Journal of Chemical Engineering 2015; 66(08) : 2838-2845.

Huang DF, Xiong CW. Evaluation of the generative migration and generative potential of petroleum in coal-bearing formations. Prospector 1996; 1(2): 6-11.

Dong ZL, Li XQ, Zhang MY, et al. Evaluation of gas potential of coal measure hydrocarbon source rocks in medium-high thermal evolution stage. Coal Science and Technology 2015; 43(12): 129-136.

Wang D L, Li X, Li SQ, et al. Evaluation of hydrocarbon generation potential of immature-low mature coal measure source rocks: a case study of Tadongbei. Journal of China University of Mining and Technology 2001; 30(3): 317-322.