Shale has increasingly received attention due to its recent recognition as a potential game changer of US energy outlook. However a fundamental relationship between mineral fabrics, kerogen, and elastic properties of shale remains questionable. Here we present different synchrotron X-ray techniques to capture microstructural transformations in Kimmeridge Shale upon temperature-induced anhydrous maturation. Upon heating up to 300 °C, the degrees of all clay minerals fabrics remain fairly consistent and this result supports minor microstructural changes observed in microtomographic images. A noticeable amount of gas bubble started to form at 400 °C and led to a significant shrinkage of kerogen. The reduction of kerogen greatly influences elastic anisotropy properties and the identification of the promising source in the hydrocarbon reservoir.


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