AbstractThe Xixiangchi Formation is a significant replacement stratum for natural gas production of deep marine carbonate in the Sichuan basin, which is mainly composed of grain shoal. Basic characteristics and corresponding major controlling factors of the Xixiangchi reservoir are of great importance for hydrocarbon exploration, but the diagenesis sequence and evolution of the reservoir are poorly understood because of their complexity. Based on core and thin-section observations, cathodoluminescence (CL), scanning electron microscopy (SEM), and microbiologically induced calcium carbonate precipitation (MICP) data, it is suggested that the Xixiangchi reservoir is comprised of medium crystalline dolostone and grain dolostone in the Central Sichuan basin, with an average porosity of 3.6% and 2.2%, respectively. The corresponding pore-throat type is an intercrystalline pore with a flaky throat and a dissolved intergranular pore with a necking throat. The majority porosity ranges from 2% to 4% (with a distribution frequency of 64.9%), but the permeability distribution is relatively scattered (with a distribution frequency between 10% and 30%). The capillary pressure curve of medium crystalline dolostone is characterized by coarse skewness, relatively flat plateaus, low displacement pressures, and high mercury saturation at relatively low injection pressures. The capillary pressure curve of grain dolostone is characterized by fine skewness, which exhibits relatively poor connectivity and a small value of median pore radius. The deposition of intraplatform grain shoals determines the original property of the Xixiangchi Formation reservoirs. Destructive diagenesis, including compaction and multistage cementation, decreases the physical properties of the Xixiangchi reservoir. Constructive diagenesis, including Caledonian supergene karstification and late-stage burial dissolution, tremendously improves the reservoir quality.

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