Abstract Stress, fluid and temperature are three of the major factors that impact natural gas migration and accumulation. In order to study the influences of tectonic stress field on natural gas migration and accumulation in low-permeability rocks, we take the Kuqa Depression as an example and analyze the evolution of the structure and tectonic stress field at first. Then we study the influences of tectonic stress field at different tectonic episodes on fractures and fluid potentials through the numerical simulation method on the section across the KL2 gas field. We summarize two aspects of the impact of the tectonic stress field on natural gas migration and accumulation. Firstly, under the effects of the tectonic stress field, the rock dilation increases with the added stress and strain, and when the shear stress of rock exceeds its shear strength, the shear fractures are well developed. On one hand, the faults which communicate with the hydrocarbon source rocks become the main pathways for natural gas migration. On the other hand, these positions where fractures are well developed near faults can become good reservoirs for natural gas accumulation. Secondly, because fluid potentials decrease in these places near the faults where fractures are well developed, natural gas can migrate rapidly along the faults and accumulates. The impact of tectonic stress fields on natural gas migration and accumulation allows for hydrocarbon migration and accumulation in the low-permeability rocks in an active tectonic compressive setting.