In situ stress distribution and its impact on CBM reservoir properties in the Zhengzhuang area, southern Qinshui Basin, North China

Saipeng Huang, Dameng Liu, Yidong Cai* (Corresponding Author), Quan Gan

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Citations (Scopus)


In situ stress is crucial for hydraulic fracturing during enhanced coalbed methane (CBM) recovery. The study is an attempt to get a better idea of fine evaluation of the stress distribution, and to clarify the stress distribution near the fault zone. The in situ stresses and formation pore pressure of coal seams at depths of 300–1300 m in the Zhengzhuang area of the southern Qinshui Basin were systematically analysed using well test data. The research area was divided into three partitions based on formation pore pressure gradient and regional geological structure. The three partitions present various petrophysical properties. Moreover, a 3D simulation was conducted to evaluate the effects of faulting on the stress state. Excellent relations exist among the pore pressure, minimum horizontal stress (Po and σh) and depth of the target coal seam, which can be used to predict the distribution of in situ stresses in the research area where few well test data exist. A lower lateral stress coefficient (κ) suggests a higher permeability in the extensional southern Qinshui Basin. Lower horizontal tectonic stress coefficients and relative stress factors suggest a higher permeability area. The simulation and microseismic fracture monitoring results show that the horizontal principal stress direction obviously changes near the fault zone, suggesting the existence of a complex in situ stress state. Faulting has a great influence on σH orientation. The stress simulation could be a means to detect faults and predict the direction and magnitude of σH for areas without adequate well test data. Therefore, these results may have significant implications for the permeability evaluation of coal seams during safety mining and CBM production.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)83-96
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Natural Gas Science and Engineering
Early online date8 Nov 2018
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2019

Bibliographical note

This research was funded by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (grant nos. 41830427, 41602170 and 41772160), the National Major Research Program for Science and Technology of China (2016ZX05043-001), Key Research and Development Projects of the Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region (grant no. 2017B03019-01) and the Research Program for Excellent Doctoral Dissertation Supervisor of Beijing (grant no. YB20101141501).


  • Coal reservoir
  • In situ stresses
  • Permeability
  • Pore pressure
  • Tectonic stress coefficient


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