Significance and evolution characteristics of the isobutane/n-butane ratio of natural gas

Published on 2019-10-17T12:09:21Z (GMT) by
<div><p>In previous studies, two conflicting conclusions existed, which were: (a) the isobutane/n-butane ratio of natural gas increases with the increasing maturity (R<sub>o</sub>) of source rocks and (b) decreases with the increasing R<sub>o</sub>. In this paper, the correlations between the isobutane/n-butane ratios, dryness of natural gases, and the R<sub>o</sub> values of source rocks of 77 gas samples from Cretaceous and Tertiary in Kuqa Depression, Tarim Basin, Triassic Xujiahe Formation in central Sichuan Basin, Carboniferous–Permian in Sulige and Yulin gas field, Ordos Basin, China, and 80 shale gas samples from Mississippian Barnett Shale in the Fort Worth Basin, the United States are analyzed to reveal the evolution of the isobutane/n-butane ratios, then mathematical models of the isobutane/n-butane ratios and R<sub>o</sub> are attempted to be established. Results show that the isobutane/n-butane ratio initially increases and then decreases with increasing R<sub>o</sub>, both coal-derived gas and oil-type gas. Diverse types of kerogens may be responsible for the different corresponding R<sub>o</sub> values when the isobutane/n-butane ratios of gases reach their maximum values. The initial increase in the isobutane/n-butane ratios with increasing R<sub>o</sub> is the reason that isobutane is mainly generated at a higher rate by carbonium ion reaction of α-olefins with protons during kerogen primary cracking at lower maturity, whereas free radical reactions to form n-butane relatively quickly during oil cracking at higher maturity and isobutane cracked at a higher rate during the wet gas cracking stage may result in the terminal decreases in the isobutane/n-butane ratios. Besides, mathematical models of the isobutane/n-butane ratios of different types of natural gas and maturity are established. Therefore, the maturity of gas source rock can be obtained quickly based on the models using the isobutane/n-butane ratio combined with other component information (such as dryness, wetness, etc.), which is of great significance to the characterization of natural gas maturity and gas source rock correlation.</p></div>

Cite this collection

Liu, Nian; Qiu, Nansheng; Li, Zhenming; Cai, Chuan; Shan, Xinjie; Gao, Ting; et al. (2019): Significance and evolution characteristics of the isobutane/n-butane ratio of natural gas. SAGE Journals. Collection.