Quantitative evaluation and models of hydrocarbon accumulation controlled by faults in the Pearl River Mouth Basin

Guangrong Peng, Zhe Wu, Yiding Dai, Lili Zhang, Sa Yu, Wenyong Wang, Hong Pang

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The Pearl River Mouth Basin is the largest petroliferous basin in the northern South China Sea, where hydrocarbon accumulation is strongly controlled by fault activities. This study performed the quantitative evaluation of the effects of faults on hydrocarbon migration and accumulation in the basin. The results indicate that the critical values of vertical migration of middle-shallow hydrocarbon, including the active strength of faults and the ratio of fault throw to shale caprock thickness, were up to 10 m/Ma and 5, respectively. The lateral hydrocarbon migration efficiency of the unbreached relay zone was higher than that of the barely breached and strongly breached types. The lower critical value of shale gouge ratio for the clay sealing efficiency was 0.32. Additionally, the zones with the EW-trending transtensional faults were found to have unique dual functions of migration and stress sealing, suggesting that the linking fault positions play important roles in the lateral migration of hydrocarbons. Finally, seven hydrocarbon accumulation models controlled by faults in different tectonic settings were constructed to clarify the effects of faults on the vertical and lateral migrations of hydrocarbon. These models suggested that fine hydrocarbon exploration should be undertaken in the northeastern Baiyun Sag, and that middle-deep hydrocarbon exploration should be enhanced in the Enping, Huizhou, and southwestern Baiyun Sags.

Cited as: Peng, G., Wu, Z., Dai, Y., Zhang, L., Yu, S., Wang, W., Pang, H. Quantitative evaluation and models of hydrocarbon accumulation controlled by faults in the Pearl River Mouth Basin. Advances in Geo-Energy Research, 2023, 8(2): 89-99. https://doi.org/10.46690/ager.2023.05.03


Pearl River Mouth Basin, fault activities, migration efficiency, fault sealing, hydrocarbon migration, hydrocarbon accumulation models

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