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Technical Brief

Evaluating Oil Potential in Shale Formations Using Terahertz Time-Domain Spectroscopy

[+] Author and Article Information
Yizhang Li

Beijing Key Laboratory of Optical Detection
Technology for Oil and Gas,
China University of Petroleum-Beijing,
Fuxue Road 18,
Beijing 102249, China

Xinyang Miao

Beijing Key Laboratory of Optical Detection Technology
for Oil and Gas,
China University of Petroleum-Beijing,
Fuxue Road 18,
Beijing 102249, China

Honglei Zhan, Rima Bao, Wenxiu Leng

Beijing Key Laboratory of Optical Detection Technology
for Oil and Gas,
China University of Petroleum-Beijing,
Fuxue Road 18,
Beijing 102249, China

Wei Wang

China Shenhua Coal to Liquid and Chemical Shanghai
Research Institute,
National Engineering Laboratory of Direct Coal
Liquefaction,
Shuangbai Road 368,
Shanghai 201108, China

Kun Zhao

Beijing Key Laboratory of Optical Detection Technology
for Oil and Gas,
China University of Petroleum-Beijing,
Fuxue Road 18,
Beijing 102249, China
e-mail: zhk@cup.edu.cn

1Corresponding author.

Contributed by the Petroleum Division of ASME for publication in the JOURNAL OF ENERGY RESOURCES TECHNOLOGY. Manuscript received August 11, 2016; final manuscript received November 21, 2017; published online December 22, 2017. Assoc. Editor: Daoyong (Tony) Yang.

J. Energy Resour. Technol 140(3), 034501 (Dec 22, 2017) (5 pages) Paper No: JERT-16-1338; doi: 10.1115/1.4038664 History: Received August 11, 2016; Revised November 21, 2017

Optical assessment of oil shale using terahertz time-domain spectroscopy (THz-TDS) was carried out to study oil potential. Fischer assay testing was employed to obtain the oil yield of oil shale specimens to examine the difference of oil potential between oil shale samples from three regions: Beipiao, Barkol, and Huadian in China. Then, two types of specimens from each area were prepared for the optical tests and the results were compared. The refractive index (n) at 0.2–1.2 THz was derived; n decreased slowly with increasing frequency for all the specimens despite the oscillation pattern observed at lower frequencies. The specimen preparation method that mixed the powdered material led to minor differences between the specimens. The different response of kerogen to the terahertz pulse depending on the kerogen's evolutionary stage leads to a difference in the refractive index between the specimens from the various regions. This study indicates that using THz-TDS to evaluate the oil content in oil shale without inducing reaction within the specimen can be an effective method for resource exploration.

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Figures

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 4

Correlation between the integral of n from 0.2 to 1.2 THz and oil potential

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 3

Refractive indexes (n) for specimens from Beipiao, Barkol, and Huadian; type-1 specimens (lower panels) and type-2 (upper panels), where the different colors correspond to the different specimens

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 2

Time-domain spectroscopy and frequency domain spectroscopy (insert) of the reference and an oil shale specimen

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 1

A schematic diagram of THz-TDS system

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