Do shale pore throats have a threshold diameter for oil storage?

Caineng Zou, Xu Jin, Rukai Zhu, Guangming Gong, Liang Sun, Jinxing Dai, Depeng Meng, Xiaoqi Wang, Jianming Li, Songtao Wu, Xiaodan Liu, Juntao Wu, Lei Jiang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

49 Citations (Scopus)


In this work, a nanoporous template with a controllable channel diameter was used to simulate the oil storage ability of shale pore throats. On the basis of the wetting behaviours at the nanoscale solid-liquid interfaces, the seepage of oil in nano-channels of different diameters was examined to accurately and systematically determine the effect of the pore diameter on the oil storage capacity. The results indicated that the lower threshold for oil storage was a pore throat of 20 nm, under certain conditions. This proposed pore size threshold provides novel, evidence-based criteria for estimating the geological reserves, recoverable reserves and economically recoverable reserves of shale oil. This new understanding of shale oil processes could revolutionize the related industries.

Original languageEnglish
Article number13619
Number of pages6
JournalScientific Reports
Publication statusPublished - 28 Aug 2015
Externally publishedYes

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