Science China Earth Sciences

, Volume 61, Issue 10, pp 1440–1450 | Cite as

Detection and significance of higher thiadiamondoids and diamondoidthiols in oil from the Zhongshen 1C well of the Tarim Basin, NW China

  • Anlai MaEmail author
  • Zhijun Jin
  • Cuishan Zhu
  • Yi Gu
Research Paper


Oil and gas breakthroughs have been achieved in the Zhongshen 1 (ZS1) and 1C (ZS1C) wells in Cambrian pre-salt from the Tarim Basin in northwest China. However, Middle and Lower Cambrian reservoirs reveal substantial differences in the geochemistry and secondary alteration characteristics between the oils collected from the two wells. High concentrations of thiadiamondoids and diamondoidthiols, including thiatetramantanes, tetramantanethiols, thiapentamantanes, and pentamantanethiols, are detected in the organic sulfur compound fraction of concentrated oil collected from the ZS1C well, which samples the Lower Cambrian Xiaoerbulake Formation. Higher diamondoids, such as tetramantanes, pentamantanes, hexamantanes, and cyclohexamantane, also occur in the saturate fractions of the concentrated ZS1C oil. The presence of these compounds is verified by mass spectra analysis and comparison with previous studies. During thermochemical sulfate reduction (TSR), the cage of higher diamondoids is interpreted to open because of sulfur radicals forming open-cage higher diamondoid-like thiols, followed by cyclization that leads to the formation of high thiadiamondoids. Using D16-adamantane as an internal standard, the concentrations of lower diamondoids and thiadiamondoids of non-concentrated Cambrian oil from well ZS1C are 83874 and 8578 μg/g, respectively, which are far higher than Cambrian oil from well ZS1 and most Ordovician oils in the Tarim Basin. The high concentrations of lower thiadiamondoids and occurrence of higher thiadiamondoids and diamondoidthiols support that the oil from well ZS1C is a product of severe TSR alteration.


Tarim Basin Cambrian Well Zhongshen 1C Higher thiadiamondoid Higher diamondoidthiol Higher diamondoid Thermochemical sulfate reduction (TSR) 


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We appreciate the thoughtful and constructive comments of anonymous reviewers. This research was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (Grant No. 41772153), State Key Laboratory of Organic Geochemistry, GIGCAS (Grant No. SKLOG- 2017-02), National Science and Technology Major Project of the Ministry of Science and Technology of China (Grant No. 2017ZX05005-002), and SINOPEC Ministry of Science and Technology (Grant No. P16090, P17049-1).

Supplementary material

11430_2017_9244_MOESM1_ESM.pdf (13.5 mb)
Appendix 1


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Copyright information

© Science China Press and Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Sinopec Petroleum Exploration & Production Research InstituteBeijingChina
  2. 2.State Key Laboratory of Organic GeochemistryGuangzhouChina
  3. 3.College of Resources and EnvironmentYangtze UniversityWuhanChina

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