Unconventional Petroleum Geology

1st Edition

Authors: Caineng Zou
Hardcover ISBN: 9780123971623
eBook ISBN: 9780123977861
Imprint: Elsevier
Published Date: 12th December 2012
Page Count: 384
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Unconventional Petroleum Geology is the first book of its kind to collectively identify, catalog, and assess the exploration and recovery potential of the Earth's unconventional hydrocarbons. Advances in hydrocarbon technology and petroleum development systems have recently made the exploration of unconventional hydrocarbons—such as shale gas, tight sandstone oil and gas, heavy oil, tar sand, and coalbed methane—the hottest trend in the petroleum industry.

Detailed case studies act as real-world application templates, making the book's concepts immediately practical and useful by exploration geologists. The logical and intuitive three-part approach of systematically identifying an unconventional hydrocarbon, cataloguing its accumulation features, and assessing its exploration and recovery potential can be immediately implemented in the field—anywhere in the world.

Key Features

  • Provides a detailed assessment of the exploration and recovery potential of the full range of unconventional hydrocarbons
  • More than 300 illustrations—many in full color—capture the detailed intricacies and associated technological advances in unconventional hydrocarbon exploration
  • More than 20 case studies and examples from around the world conclude each chapter and aid in the application of key exploration and recovery techniques


Exploration Geologists, Geochemists, and Geophysicists globally with a focus on hydrocarbon exploration. Secondary market includes students and instructors at the graduate level in the Geosciences.

Table of Contents


Chapter 1. Introduction

Section 1. History of Petroleum Geology

1. Enlightenment Stage (Before the 1860s)

2. Formative Stage (1860s–1920s)

3. Development Stage (1920s–Present)

Section 2. Current Situation and Trend of Global Petroleum Exploration

1. Current Situation

2. Distribution of Giant to Supergiant Oil and Gas Fields

3. Distribution of Remaining Global Hydrocarbon Resources

4. Recent Trend of Global Conventional Oil and Gas Discoveries

Section 3. Differences Between Conventional and Unconventional Petroleum Accumulations

1. Conventional Petroleum Geology

2. Unconventional Petroleum Geology

Section 4. Position and Significance of Unconventional Petroleum Geology

1. Study History of Unconventional Petroleum Geology

2. Strategy Position of Unconventional Petroleum Resources

3. Strategic Breakthroughs and Significance of Unconventional Petroleum


Chapter 2. Unconventional Continuous Petroleum Accumulation

Section 1. Concept and Types of Unconventional Continuous Petroleum Accumulations

1. Background

2. Concept of Continuous Petroleum Accumulation and Its Specific Characteristics in China

3. Types of Continuous Petroleum Accumulation

Section 2. Genesis and Characteristics of Unconventional Continuous Petroleum Accumulations

1. Critical Characteristics

2. Origin, Distribution, and Evolution of Continuous Petroleum Accumulations

3. Type and Geological Characteristics of Continuous Petroleum Accumulations

4. Differences among Typical Continuous Petroleum Accumulations

Section 3. Nanometer-Scaled Pore-Throat System

1. Storage Space of Unconventional Reservoirs

2. Pore Classification Categories

3. Definition and Characteristics of Nano-Hydrocarbon

Section 4. Resource Assessment


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© Elsevier 2013
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About the Author

Caineng Zou

President of the research institute of petroleum exploration and development(RIPED) Professor, the research institute of petroleum exploration and development,CNPC An expert petroleum geology, Caineng Zou received a doctorate on Mineral Resource Prospecting and Exploration and is now vice-president and chief geologist of the Research Institute of Petroleum Exploration and Development (RIPED) of PetroChina; vice-chairman of China Mineralogy, Petrology and Geochemistry Society and Beijing Petroleum society; deputy-director of the natural gas committee of China Petroleum Society (CPS); group leader of the reservoir division in the petroleum geology committee of CPS and unconventional gas division in the natural gas committee of CPS; a member of the editorial board for Petroleum Exploration and Development, Acta Petrolei Sinica, and Natural Gas Geoscience; a part-time professor in Beijing University. He is also the leader of the national project “Accumulation Law, Key Technologies and Targets’ Evaluation of Litho-stratigraphic Petroleum” and has been approved to receive the State Council special allowance in China. Dr. Zou has been awarded a National Top Prize for Progress in Science and Technology and ten Provincial or Ministerial Prizes in China. He has published over 90 papers and 5 monographs.

Affiliations and Expertise

Research Institute of Petroleum Exploration and Development, Beijing, China


"The body of the book devotes each chapter to a specific type of petroleum deposit and the extraction techniques: tight-sandstone oil and gas, coalbed methane, shale gas, carbonate-fracture-cavity reservoir, volcanic deposits, deposits in metamorphic rocks, heavy oil and bitumen, and natural gas hydrate. The book includes about twenty real-life case studies."--Reference and Research Book News, August 2013