Abstract Based on the controlling of diagenesis and diagenetic facies on reservoir development, this article discusses the formation, classification, and evaluation of diagenetic facies and its application and significance in petroleum exploration. For constructive diagenetic facies such as clastic rock, carbonate rock, and igneous rock, eight kinds of genetic mechanisms are developed, including dissolution of organic acid, dolomitization, and so on. Nine constructive diagenetic facies and seven destructive diagenetic facies are classified. A naming scheme for diagenetic facies is proposed reflecting lithology, diagenesis, porosity, and permeability, that is, “porosity and permeability level + rock type + diagenesis type”. Diagenetic facies are evaluated synthetically and quantitatively on the basis of sedimentary facies, log facies, seismic facies, rock cores, and thin sections, and “four steps” and “superposition of three charts” are put forward as the methods of evaluation and mapping. Favored reservoirs, “sweet spots”, and lithostratigraphic traps can be predicted according to the distribution of different types of diagenetic facies. The development of the study on diagenetic facies is also discussed in the article.