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Volume 20 Issue 4
Aug 2009
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Jianning Yu, Huayao Zou, Zaisheng Gong. Preferential Petroleum Migration Pathways in Eastern Pearl River Mouth Basin, Offshore South China Sea. Journal of Earth Science, 2009, 20(4): 720-730. doi: 10.1007/s12583-009-0062-8
Citation: Jianning Yu, Huayao Zou, Zaisheng Gong. Preferential Petroleum Migration Pathways in Eastern Pearl River Mouth Basin, Offshore South China Sea. Journal of Earth Science, 2009, 20(4): 720-730. doi: 10.1007/s12583-009-0062-8

Preferential Petroleum Migration Pathways in Eastern Pearl River Mouth Basin, Offshore South China Sea

doi: 10.1007/s12583-009-0062-8

the National Natural Science Foundation of China 40772089

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  • Corresponding author: Zou Huayao,
  • Received Date: 29 Dec 2008
  • Accepted Date: 03 Mar 2009
  • Secondary petroleum migration in the eastern Pearl River Mouth basin was modeled using the three-dimensional PATHWAYSTM model, which assumes that the positions of petroleum migration pathways are controlled by the morphology of the sealing surfaces. The modeling results have accurately predicted the petroleum occurrences. Most commercial petroleum accumulations are along the predicted preferential petroleum migration pathways (PPMP), and most large fields (petroleum reserves greater than 1×108 t) have more than one preferential petroleum migration pathways to convey petroleum to the traps. The lateral migration distance for oil in the LH11-1 field, the largest oilfield so far discovered in the Pearl River Mouth basin, was more than 80 km. The case study suggests that in lacustrine fault basins, petroleum can migrate over a long distance to form large oilfields without driving force from groundwater flow. The focusing of petroleum originating from a large area of the generative kitchens into restricted channels seems to be essential not only for long-range petroleum migration in hydrostatic conditions, but also for the formation of large oil or gas fields. The strong porosity and permeability heterogeneities of the carrier beds and the relatively high prediction accuracy by a model that does not take into consideration of the effect of heterogeneity suggest that the positions of petroleum migration pathways in heterogeneous carrier beds with relatively large dipping angles are determined primarily by the morphology of the sealing surfaces at regional scales.


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