Evolution of petrophysical properties of oil shales during high-temperature compaction tests: Implications for petroleum expulsion
a b s t r a c t
The transport properties of Permian to Miocene oil shales (Torbanite, Posidonia, Messel, Himmetoglu, and Condor) were studied using petrophysical and geochemical techniques. The aims of this study were to assess permeability of oil shales, evaluate the evolution of porosity, specific surface area and intergranular permeability during high temperature compaction tests and to verify the suitability of intergranular permeability for petroleum expulsion.
For samples with saturation levels above 20%, fracture permeability dominated during the experiments. Evidence based on the measured permeability coefficients, expulsion flow rates, consideration of capillary displacement during generation-related pore invasion and the existence of transport porosity suggests that fracture permeability is the principal avenue of petroleum expulsion from source rocks. This conclusion is supported by microscopic observations.