Coupled accumulation characteristics of Carboniferous-Permian coal measure gases in the Northern Ordos Basin, China

  • Xiaowei Hou
  • Yanming Zhu
  • Haipeng Yao
Original Paper


The northern Ordos Basin provides a favorable geological environment for the accumulation and development of coal measure gases (CMG). The hydrocarbon generation potential and reservoir systems of the coal measures have been studied based on data from experimental tests and production and exploration wells, respectively. Further, the coupled accumulation characteristics were determined. The results show that the source rocks are characterized by favorable hydrocarbon generation potential, high thermal evolution (Ro% = 1.3–2.3%), and mainly type III kerogen. Coals, typically aggregated organic matter, with a huge hydrocarbon generation potential (avg. 89.11 mg/g) and total organic content (TOC) (avg. 65.52%), are predominantly involved in gaseous hydrocarbon generation. Shales with good TOC contents (avg. 2.36%) and large cumulative thicknesses have an important role in gaseous hydrocarbon generation. Coal seams, shale layers, and sandstone layers occur as variably interbedded deposits, which form a favorable environment for CMG coupled accumulation. The porosity and permeability are ranked as follows: sandstone > coal > shale, with significant stress sensitivity and anisotropy. Two continuous gas generation peaks occurred in the Late Jurassic and Late Cretaceous, with an abundant amount of coal-derived and thermogenic gas generation, respectively. Potential gas-bearing sandstone layers can be formed by gas migration via short distances from nearby coal seams and shale layers. Coupled accumulation of CMG occurred in three stages: (1) stacked and interbedded reservoirs formation stage; (2) gas generating and charging stage; and (3) coupled accumulation adjustment stage. Coalbed methane (CBM)–tight sandstone gas (TSG) assemblage is a favorable target for CMG accumulation and development.


Coal measure gases Hydrocarbon generation potential Reservoir systems Coupled accumulation Coupled accumulation assemblages 



This work was jointly sponsored by the Fundamental Research Funds for the Central Universities (No. 2017CXNL03), the National Natural Science Foundation of China (No. 41402124), and the National Science and Technology Major Project (No. 2017ZX05035004-002). The authors also sincerely appreciate the editors and the reviewers for helping to improve the manuscript.


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Copyright information

© Saudi Society for Geosciences 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Coalbed Methane Resources and Reservoir Formation Process Key Laboratory of Ministry of EducationChina University of Mining and TechnologyXuzhouChina
  2. 2.School of Resources and GeoscienceChina University of Mining and TechnologyXuzhouChina
  3. 3.Coal Geological Bureau of the Inner Mongolia Autonomous RegionHohhotChina

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