--> Abstract: Main Geological Characteristics and Resource of Oil Shale and Its Development in Northwest China, by Bai Yunlai; #90124 (2011)

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Making the Next Giant Leap in Geosciences
April 10-13, 2011, Houston, Texas, USA

Main Geological Characteristics and Resource of Oil Shale and Its Development in Northwest China

Bai Yunlai1

(1) NWGI, Lanzhou, China.

With the amount of oil resources becoming increasingly scarce, non-conventional resources such as oil shale, oil sands, and heavy oil, have caught redoubled attention. There are abundant oil shale resources in Northwest China, which have been preliminary researched in this study. My analysis of field geological section surveys, standard mining investigations, and the laboratory analysis of the important samples indicate that the oil shale in northwest China has the following features: 1) 1- 36m thick oil shale strata existed in the area.2) the color of oil shale is mostly the brown-black, black, but the color of some oil shale outcrops is maroon. Oil shale has slightly grease shiny and flaky, layered structure, irregular shape- conchoidal fracture, small hardness and light brown streak. 3) in hand specimen, oil shale is mainly composed of clay mineral and silt-sized detrital minerals (quartz). 4) the main chemical components of oil shale are SiO2 and Al2O3which total 65.44% of the rock, indicate that the shale is the medium ash type. The organic carbon of oil shale is 14% and total carbon 16.28%, oil yield generally 1.5%-13.7%, for an overall caloric value of 1.66-20.98MJ/kg. The density of the shale is 1.55-2.46 g/cc . Younger oil shale strata have progressively higher REE abundances. 5) oil shale deposits are mainly 3 types: the littoral-neritic facies sedimentary deposits in the middle and late Carboniferous - the early Permian, lake bay-lacustrine facies sedimentary deposits in the late Permian, and inland lacustrine-delta facies sedimentary deposits in Mesozoic. Oil shales which were formed in inland deep water - half deep water lacustrine facies in Mesozoic is the major industry type and its origin is similar to “the Black Sea model.” Oil shales which were formed in deltaic environments in the middle and late Carboniferous and Jurassic are mostly paragenetically related to coal beds. 6) in the area, the total amount of predicted resources of oil shale at least 30000× 108 t which equivalents to about 2100× 108 t of shale oil and in which oil shale resources in Ordos basin accounts for 99% and can be compared to oil shale resources in Green River area of western North American. 7) in northwest China , identified oil shale deposits are located in the vicinity of large and medium-sized cities, with good development prospects .