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Ordovician Carbonate Buildups: Potential Gas Reservoirs in the Ordos Basin, Central China

HUAIDA, HSU, China University of Geosciences, Beijing, China

The Ordos basin of central China covers an area of about 25,000 km. A series of eastward moving overthrusts developed along its western flank, but most of the basin consists of a stable slope that dips westward less than one degree. The basin contains sediments from Sinian to Middle Ordovician and from the Middle Carboniferous to Cretaceous. Its evolutionary history is similar to that of the Alberta basin. Recently drilled wildcat wells have produced commercial gas flows that are closely associated with Ordovician carbonate buildups and a weathered surface between the Ordovician and Carboniferous. Most of the buildups consist of agal mounds; however, some Middle Ordovician reefs developed in the western portion and along the southern margin of the Ordos basin. More than 200 buildups w re delineated using seismic stratigraphic techniques. They can be divided into four distinct types. The growth and distribution of buildups were controlled by sea-level fluctuations. The interpretations made in this study were based on the integration of results from a variety of analyses including vertical profiling, differential interformational velocity analysis, amplitude versus offset comparisons, G-log analysis, seismic modeling techniques, and high-precision gravity surveys. The best gas prospects are the Ordovician carbonate buildups distributed around the basin's central uplift. The delineation of carbonate buildups and the demonstration that they are associated with commercial gas flows open the gate for future gas exploration in this area.


AAPG Search and Discovery Article #91004 © 1991 AAPG Annual Convention Dallas, Texas, April 7-10, 1991 (2009)