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Shallow Subtidal Nearshore Grainstone

Permit: 14181 Depth: 11,238 ft

Average Porosity:

16.3%, up to 20.9%

GM Permeability: 7.6 md, up to 9.81 md

Shallow Subtidal Nearshore Grainstone Permit: 14181 Depth: 11,238 ft Average Porosity: 16.3%, up to 20.9% GM

Shallow Subtidal Nearshore Grainstone

Shallow Subtidal Nearshore Grainstone

Deeper Subtidal Lime Mudstone

Permit: 13472 Depth: 11532 ft

Deeper Subtidal Lime Mudstone Permit: 13472 Depth: 11532 ft

Deeper Subtidal Lime Mudstone

Deeper Subtidal Lime Mudstone

Subtidal

Microbially-

Influenced

Wackestone

Permit: 14181 Depth: 11149 ft

Subtidal Microbially- Influenced Wackestone Permit: 14181 Depth: 11149 ft

Subtidal

Microbially-

Influenced

Packstone

Permit: 13472 Depth: 11542 ft
Permit: 13472
Depth: 11542 ft
Subtidal Microbially- Influenced Packstone Permit: 13472 Depth: 11542 ft

Subtidal Microbially-Influenced Packstone

Subtidal Microbially-Influenced Packstone

Subtidal Peloidal Thrombolite Boundstone

Permit: 14181 Depth: 11282 ft

Subtidal Peloidal Thrombolite Boundstone Permit: 14181 Depth: 11282 ft

Subtidal Peloidal Reticulate Thrombolite Boundstone

Permit: 14181 Depth: 11282 ft

Subtidal Peloidal Reticulate Thrombolite Boundstone Permit: 14181 Depth: 11282 ft

Subtidal Peloidal Thrombolite Boundstone

Subtidal Peloidal Thrombolite Boundstone

Subtidal Peloidal Thrombolite Boundstone

Permit: 12872 Depth: 11880 ft

Average Porosity: 10.8%,

up to 22.2%

GM Permeability: 196 md, up to 2,834 md

Subtidal Peloidal Thrombolite Boundstone Permit: 12872 Depth: 11880 ft Average Porosity: 10.8%, up to 22.2% GM

Subtidal Peloidal Thrombolite Boundstone

Subtidal Peloidal Thrombolite Boundstone

Transgressive Subtidal Lime Mudstone

Permit: 13438 Depth: 11613 ft

Transgressive Subtidal Lime Mudstone Permit: 13438 Depth: 11613 ft

Transgressive Subtidal Lime Mudstone

Transgressive Subtidal Lime Mudstone

Transgressive Subtidal Lime Mudstone

Permit: 13589 Depth: 11497 ft

SmackoverL ime Mudstone N/S Contact

Norphlet

Sandstone/

Breccia

Transgressive Subtidal Lime Mudstone Permit: 13589 Depth: 11497 ft SmackoverL ime Mudstone N/S Contact Norphlet Sandstone/

Norphlet/Smackover (N/S) Contact

Norphlet/Smackover (N/S) Contact Permit: 14305 Depth: 11279 ft N/S Contact

Permit: 14305 Depth: 11279 ft

Norphlet/Smackover (N/S) Contact Permit: 14305 Depth: 11279 ft N/S Contact

N/S Contact

Subsurface Observations I

  • Thrombolites can develop on crystalline basement rocks (thickness of 58 m and area of 6.2 km2) or on an encrusted and/or cemented sedimentary rock surface (thickness of 11 m and area of 13 km2) in inner ramp settings.

  • Cessation of thrombolite buildup growth is due to changes in the environment, such as the establishment of a higher energy environment or an increase in the influx of siliciclastic sediments.

  • Thrombolites occur in deposits of the transgressive systems tract to the lower part of the regressive systems tract.

Subsurface Observations I  Thrombolites can develop on crystalline basement rocks (thickness of 58 m and

Subsurface Observations II

  • Grainstone reservoirs overlie thrombolite boundstone reservoirs directly or somewhat higher in the stratigraphic section. Porosity in the boundstone reservoirs ranges from 3 to 29% and permeability ranges up to 2800 md. Porosity in the grainstone reservoirs ranges from 8 to 21% and permeability ranges up to 10 md.

  • Diagenesis is a critical factor in preserving, enhancing and/or creating porosity and connectivity in the grainstone and boundstone reservoirs. Boundstone reservoirs have higher quality because of the nature of the porosity and associated increased connectivity that results in higher productivity. Favorable diagenesis is facies dependent.

Subsurface Case Studies-Upper Jurassic and Lower Cretaceous
Subsurface Case Studies-Upper
Jurassic and Lower Cretaceous

Lower Cretaceous Example

Gulf Coast Interior Salt Basins

Gulf Coast Interior Salt Basins
Gulf Coast Interior Salt Basins

STRAT, Mancini and Puckett, 2005

Location Map

Aptian Shelf Margin

Location Map Aptian Shelf Margin GCAGS, Mancini et al., 2005

GCAGS, Mancini et al., 2005

LK Shelf Profile

LK Shelf Profile GCAGS & MMS, Mancini et al., 2005; AAPG, Tyrrell and Scott,1987

GCAGS & MMS, Mancini et al., 2005; AAPG, Tyrrell and Scott,1987

Core Description & Wireline Log

McAlpin well

GCAGS, Mancini et al., 2005

Core Description & Wireline Log McAlpin well GCAGS, Mancini et al., 2005

Thrombolite with Caprinids & Stromatoporoids

McAlpin core Depth: 17693 ft

Thrombolite with Caprinids & Stromatoporoids McAlpin core Depth: 17693 ft

Peloidal Fabric & Microsparite Crystals

McAlpin core, Depth: 17693 ft

Peloidal Fabric & Microsparite Crystals McAlpin core, Depth: 17693 ft

Brecciated Wackestone in Lime Mudstone Matrix

McAlpin core Depth: 17697 ft

Brecciated Wackestone in Lime Mudstone Matrix McAlpin core Depth: 17697 ft

Dispersed Peloidal Clusters

McAlpin core, Depth: 17697 ft

Dispersed Peloidal Clusters McAlpin core, Depth: 17697 ft

Clotted Texture of Thrombolite

McAlpin core Depth: 17709 ft

Clotted Texture of Thrombolite McAlpin core Depth: 17709 ft

Amalgamated Peloidal Clusters

McAlpin core, Depth: 17709 ft

Amalgamated Peloidal Clusters McAlpin core, Depth: 17709 ft

Terrigenous Silt-Sized Grains

McAlpin core, Depth: 17709 ft

Terrigenous Silt-Sized Grains McAlpin core, Depth: 17709 ft

Bioturbated

Thrombolite

McAlpin Core Depth: 17710 ft

Bioturbated Thrombolite McAlpin Core Depth: 17710 ft

Distinct Peloidal Clusters

McAlpin core, Depth: 17710 ft

Distinct Peloidal Clusters McAlpin core, Depth: 17710 ft

Indistinct Peloid Clusters

McAlpin core, Depth: 17710 ft

Indistinct Peloid Clusters McAlpin core, Depth: 17710 ft
MICROBIAL CARBONATE FACIES AND RESERVOIRS
MICROBIAL CARBONATE FACIES
AND RESERVOIRS
Exploration Strategies (Jurassic-Cretaceous Microbialites)
Exploration Strategies
(Jurassic-Cretaceous Microbialites)
Ernest A. Mancini University of Alabama
Ernest A. Mancini
University of Alabama

Acknowledgements for Funding Support

  • National Energy Technology Laboratory, Office of Fossil Energy, U. S. Department of Energy

  • Minerals Management Service, U. S. Department of Interior

  • Reports at http://egrpttc.geo.ua.edu

Acknowledgements

Figures included in this presentation are from the Bulletin of the American Association of Petroleum Geologists
Figures included in this presentation are from the
Bulletin of the American Association of Petroleum
Geologists (AAPG), Transactions of the Gulf Coast
Association of Geological Societies (GCAGS),
Stratigraphy (STRAT), Geological Survey of
Alabama Reports (AGS), Alabama State Oil and Gas
Board Reports (SOGB), US Department of Energy
Reports (DOE), and US Minerals Management
Service Reports (MMS). These figures are included
with permission of these societies, agencies, and
organizations. Information from the dissertation
research of William C. Parcell and Juan Carlos Llinas
is included in this presentation.

Microbial Buildup Models in GOM

  • Bioherms (Eastern and Central Gulf Smackover fields) vs Pinnacles (Western Gulf Cotton Valley/Haynesville fields)

  • Mixed Skeletal/Metazoan-Microbial Buildups (Walker Creek Field/Central Gulf) vs Microbial Dominated Buildups (Eastern Gulf fields)

  • Microbial Buildups on Crystalline Paleohighs (Appleton Field Complex) vs Microbial Buildups on Encrusted and Cemented Stratigraphic Surfaces (Little Cedar Creek Field)

  • Microbial Buildups on Submergent Paleohighs (Appleton Field) vs Emergent Paleohighs (Vocation Field)

Bioherms and Pinnacles

Geometry of Microbial Buildups

Geometry of Microbial Buildups Seismic Expression of Bioherm 30 m Rocha Microbial Bioherm, Portugal, 98 ft

Seismic Expression of Bioherm

Geometry of Microbial Buildups Seismic Expression of Bioherm 30 m Rocha Microbial Bioherm, Portugal, 98 ft

Seismic Expression of Pinnacle

30 m
30 m

Rocha Microbial Bioherm, Portugal, 98 ft high, 0.9 sq. mi.

Geometry of Microbial Buildups Seismic Expression of Bioherm 30 m Rocha Microbial Bioherm, Portugal, 98 ft

Jabaloyas Microbial Pinnacle, Spain, 52 ft high

AAPG, Mancini et al., 2008; Llinás, 2004

Aptian Shelf Metazoan (Rudist)- Microbial & Slope Microbial Buildups

LK Skeletal-Microbial & Microbial Buildups

LK Skeletal-Microbial & Microbial Buildups Shelf Rudist- Microbial Slope Microbial GCAGS, Mancini et al., 2005; Tyrrell

Shelf

Rudist-

Microbial

Slope

Microbial

GCAGS, Mancini et al., 2005; Tyrrell and Scott,1987

LK Rudist-Microbial Buildup-Shelf

Main Pass 253 1654-6 well Offshore GOM

Depth: 15,610 ft

LK Rudist-Microbial Buildup-Shelf Main Pass 253 1654-6 well Offshore GOM Depth: 15,610 ft

LK Microbial Buildup-Slope

Baffler-binder representative of firm substrate, increased background sedimentation rate, low to moderate water energy, and fluctuating environmental conditions

McAlpin core Depth: 17,709 ft

LK Microbial Buildup-Slope Baffler-binder representative of firm substrate, increased background sedimentation rate, low to moderate water

Amalgamated Peloidal Clusters

McAlpin core, Depth: 17,709 ft

Amalgamated Peloidal Clusters McAlpin core, Depth: 17,709 ft

Low & High Relief Paleohighs

Microbial Buildups Over Paleohighs

Low Relief Feature

High Relief Feature

Microbial Buildups Over Paleohighs Low Relief Feature High Relief Feature AAPG, Mancini et al., 2000
Microbial Buildups Over Paleohighs Low Relief Feature High Relief Feature AAPG, Mancini et al., 2000

AAPG, Mancini et al., 2000

Microbial Buildups Developed on Encrusted and Cemented Sedimentary Substrate

Thrombolite Pinnacle Buildups

Arroyo Cerezo, Spain

Thrombolite Pinnacle Buildups Arroyo Cerezo, Spain

Pinnacle Buildup

Arroyo Cerezo, Spain

Pinnacle Buildup Arroyo Cerezo, Spain

Encrusted and Cemented Surface

Arroyo Cerezo, Spain

Encrusted and Cemented Surface Arroyo Cerezo, Spain

Sequence Stratigraphy

Comparative Sequence Stratigraphy

Comparative Sequence Stratigraphy AAPG, Mancini et al., 2004

AAPG, Mancini et al., 2004

Distribution of Thrombolite Buildups

Distribution of Thrombolite Buildups AAPG, Mancini et al., 2008

AAPG, Mancini et al., 2008

Isopach Map – Thrombolite Boundstone Facies

Isopach Map – Thrombolite Boundstone Facies AAPG, Mancini et al., 2008

AAPG, Mancini et al., 2008

Seismic Expression

Seismic Illustrating Thrombolite Buildups

Seismic Illustrating Thrombolite Buildups AAPG, Mancini et al., 2004

AAPG, Mancini et al., 2004

Bioherm Interpreted from Seismic Data AAPG, Mancini et al., 2008; Llinas, 2004

Bioherm Interpreted from Seismic Data

Bioherm Interpreted from Seismic Data AAPG, Mancini et al., 2008; Llinas, 2004

AAPG, Mancini et al., 2008; Llinas, 2004

Pinnacle Interpreted from Seismic Data

Pinnacle Interpreted from Seismic Data AAPG, Mancini et al., 2008; Llinas, 2004

AAPG, Mancini et al., 2008; Llinas, 2004

Diagenesis

Dendroidal Thrombolite Reservoir

Appleton Field core Depth: 12,971 ft

Dendroidal Thrombolite Reservoir Appleton Field core Depth: 12,971 ft

Dendroidal Thrombolite

Appleton Field

Depth: 12,970 ft

Dendroidal Thrombolite Appleton Field Depth: 12,970 ft

Reticulate Thrombolite Reservoir

NW Appleton Field core Depth: 13,144 ft

Reticulate Thrombolite Reservoir NW Appleton Field core Depth: 13,144 ft

Reticulate Thrombolite

NW Appleton Field Depth: 13,139 ft

Reticulate Thrombolite NW Appleton Field Depth: 13,139 ft

Non-Reservoir LK Thrombolite Facies

McAlpin core Depth: 17,709 ft

Non-Reservoir LK Thrombolite Facies McAlpin core Depth: 17,709 ft

Amalgamated Peloidal Clusters

McAlpin core, Depth: 17,709

Amalgamated Peloidal Clusters McAlpin core, Depth: 17,709

Observations

  • Through the use of information resulting from the characterization and modeling of microbial buildups and associated potential reservoir facies from outcrop and subsurface case studies, a more effective exploration strategy can be formulated for the recognition and delineation of potential microbial buildups and potential reservoir facies in the subsurface of the interior salt basins in the Gulf of Mexico.



The information resulting from this study has potential application to deposits in other rift basins characterized by tectonic and depositional histories similar to the interior basins of the Gulf of Mexico.

Microbial Carbonate Facies and Reservoirs Part VI –Summary & Conclusions
Microbial Carbonate Facies and
Reservoirs
Part VI –Summary & Conclusions
Wayne M. Ahr Texas A&M University
Wayne M. Ahr
Texas A&M University
Microbial Reservoir Rocks: What Have We Learned?
Microbial Reservoir Rocks: What Have We
Learned?
 “Pure” microbialites [without skeletal metazoans] may form in virtually any depositional environment but they are
“Pure” microbialites [without skeletal metazoans] may form in
virtually any depositional environment but they are most “at home”
in restricted settings
Microbial reservoirs are fossilized deposits that have undergone
diagenesis or fracturing or both
Microbialites are not detrital; consequently they are not “Dunham
rocks” except as “boundstones”
Boundstone does not distinguish between different reef types and
their poroperm characteristics (Embry & Klovan, 1971)
Microbial “reefs” may consist of stromatolites, thromboliltes,
leiolites, cementstones, or mixed varieties
Microbialites are composed of microfabrics [“building blocks”] that
may determine the geometry of the deposit and its poroperm
characteristics
© Wayne Ahr 2009
© Wayne Ahr 2009
Microbial Carbonate Reservoirs: Petrophysical Characteristics
Microbial Carbonate Reservoirs:
Petrophysical Characteristics
 Microbial reservoir rock classification  Genetic classification of carbonate porosity [Ahr, 2008]  Pore types
Microbial reservoir rock classification
Genetic classification of carbonate porosity [Ahr, 2008]
Pore types in microbial reservoirs
Petrophysical rock types
Lucia (1995)
Winland R 35 [by facies type]
Rock types based on genetic pore classification
Defining flow units in microbialites
Correlating flow units at field scale
© Wayne Ahr 2009
© Wayne Ahr 2009
Microbial Reservoir Rock Classification
Microbial Reservoir Rock Classification
 Classifications discussed in Part II – Aitken (1967), Ahr (1971) and Kennard & James (1986)
Classifications discussed in Part II – Aitken (1967), Ahr (1971) and
Kennard & James (1986) identified the fundamental macrostructures
– stromatolites and thrombolites – in most fossil microbialites.
Thrombolites may have a variety of diagnostic microfabrics that
indicate depositional environments
Identification of “building blocks” – peloids, filaments, mesoclots,
radiaxial calcite sparites, and fossil microbes – is essential in
classification of microbial reservoirs because the building blocks may
determine depositional pore characteristics and growth forms of the
microbial bodies.
Rock classifications: Can they be related to porosity classifications?
© Wayne Ahr 2009
© Wayne Ahr 2009
Genetic Classification of Carbonate Porosity Applied to Microbial Reservoirs
Genetic Classification of Carbonate Porosity
Applied to Microbial Reservoirs
2 1 Virtually all microbial reservoir porosity is hybrid type 1 with varying degrees of diagenetic
2
1
Virtually all microbial
reservoir porosity is
hybrid type 1 with
varying degrees of
diagenetic overprint
Depositional template
applicable to microbial
carbonate reservoirs
3
Capacity to flow in
some microbialites
may depend on
fractures, e.g., the
Mississippian examples
in TX & N. Dakota
© Wayne Ahr 2009
© Wayne Ahr 2009
Modified Ahr Classification Emphasizing Depositional – Diagenetic Hybrid Pore Types “Hybrid 1 A or 1 B
Modified Ahr Classification Emphasizing
Depositional – Diagenetic Hybrid Pore Types
“Hybrid 1 A or 1 B or 1 C” Pores
Modified Ahr Classification Emphasizing Depositional – Diagenetic Hybrid Pore Types “Hybrid 1 A or 1 B
After Humbolt (2008)
After Humbolt (2008)
© Wayne Ahr 2009
© Wayne Ahr 2009
Ahr (2008)
Ahr (2008)
Pore Types in Microbial Reservoirs
Pore Types in Microbial Reservoirs
Pore Types in Microbial Reservoirs Miss. TX [top] & N. Dakota LCC, Smackover, Alabama Vocation -Appleton,
Pore Types in Microbial Reservoirs Miss. TX [top] & N. Dakota LCC, Smackover, Alabama Vocation -Appleton,
Pore Types in Microbial Reservoirs Miss. TX [top] & N. Dakota LCC, Smackover, Alabama Vocation -Appleton,
Pore Types in Microbial Reservoirs Miss. TX [top] & N. Dakota LCC, Smackover, Alabama Vocation -Appleton,
Pore Types in Microbial Reservoirs Miss. TX [top] & N. Dakota LCC, Smackover, Alabama Vocation -Appleton,
Pore Types in Microbial Reservoirs Miss. TX [top] & N. Dakota LCC, Smackover, Alabama Vocation -Appleton,
Miss. TX [top] & N. Dakota LCC, Smackover, Alabama Vocation -Appleton, Smk., Alabama © Wayne Ahr
Miss. TX [top] & N. Dakota
LCC, Smackover, Alabama
Vocation -Appleton, Smk., Alabama
© Wayne Ahr 2009

Commonly Occurring Associations of Pore Types – Vocation Appleton Fields

Common Pore Type Associations

Average Sample Porosities (%)

Average MPA (µm)

interparticle, intraparticle

9.65

14.9

interparticle, intraparticle, moldic

7.2

30

interparticle, cement reduced intercrystalline

4.3

1.19

reef, solution enhanced intercrystalline

20.0

12.6

reef, solution enhanced interparticle, moldic, solution enhanced intercrystalline

12.0

8.09

reef, intercrystalline, cement reduced intercrystalline

4.1

8. 39

reef, solution enhanced interparticle, solution enhanced intercrystalline, moldic, vuggy

15.4

20.63

“Reef” = Thrombolites undifferentiated; pore types not classified by Ahr (2008) system
“Reef” = Thrombolites undifferentiated; pore types not classified by Ahr (2008) system

Ahr & Morgan (2003)

Petrophysical Rock Types Depend on Pore/Pore Throat Geometry
Petrophysical Rock Types Depend on
Pore/Pore Throat Geometry
Petrophysical Rock Types Depend on Pore/Pore Throat Geometry Pinch/swell ‘tubes’ typical of intergranular pore/pore throat geometry
Pinch/swell ‘tubes’ typical of intergranular pore/pore throat geometry
Pinch/swell ‘tubes’ typical of intergranular
pore/pore throat geometry
Petrophysical Rock Types Depend on Pore/Pore Throat Geometry Pinch/swell ‘tubes’ typical of intergranular pore/pore throat geometry
‘Sheet’ pore/throat geometry typical of open intercrystalline pores in dolostones
‘Sheet’ pore/throat
geometry typical of
open intercrystalline
pores in dolostones
Winland (unpublished) courtesy C. Steffensen, BP
Winland (unpublished) courtesy C. Steffensen, BP
© Wayne Ahr 2009
© Wayne Ahr 2009
Pore/Throat Geometry Dictates Reservoir Performance & Recovery Efficiency (RE)
Pore/Throat Geometry Dictates Reservoir
Performance & Recovery Efficiency (RE)
Pore/Throat Geometry Dictates Reservoir Performance & Recovery Efficiency (RE) © Wayne Ahr 2009 Higher RE
Pore/Throat Geometry Dictates Reservoir Performance & Recovery Efficiency (RE) © Wayne Ahr 2009 Higher RE

Lower RE

Pore/Throat Geometry Dictates Reservoir Performance & Recovery Efficiency (RE) © Wayne Ahr 2009 Higher RE
© Wayne Ahr 2009
© Wayne Ahr 2009

Higher RE

Lucia’s (1995) Rock Types
Lucia’s (1995) Rock Types
Lucia’s (1995) Rock Types Rock types based on interparticle pores [detrital rocks or purely xlln dolostones]
Rock types based on interparticle pores [detrital rocks or purely xlln dolostones] This classification does not
Rock types based on interparticle pores [detrital rocks or purely xlln dolostones]
This classification does not include biogenic [reef] rocks such as microbialites
© Wayne Ahr 2009
© Wayne Ahr 2009
Winland R35 plot to define petrophysical rock types based on facies
Winland R35 plot to define petrophysical rock
types based on facies
Winland R35 plot to define petrophysical rock types based on facies Note that more than one
Winland R35 plot to define petrophysical rock types based on facies Note that more than one

Note that more than one facies is included in a single Winland rock type. This method does not identify petrophysical rock types by a distinguishing characteristic that may be correlated at field scale

Winland R35 plot to define petrophysical rock types based on facies Note that more than one
© Wayne Ahr 2009
© Wayne Ahr 2009
Petrophysical Rock Typing, Humbolt & Ahr (2008) “Dunham-Type Rocks”
Petrophysical Rock Typing, Humbolt & Ahr
(2008) “Dunham-Type Rocks”
Petrophysical Rock Typing, Humbolt & Ahr (2008) “Dunham-Type Rocks” K/Φ plot by facies - core analysis
K/Φ plot by facies - core analysis data for all samples in a study of a
K/Φ plot by facies - core analysis data for all samples in a study of a Permian carbonate reservoir, Texas
Petrophysical Rock Typing, Humbolt & Ahr (2008) “Dunham-Type Rocks” K/Φ plot by facies - core analysis
Petrophysical Rock Typing, Humbolt & Ahr (2008) “Dunham-Type Rocks” K/Φ plot by facies - core analysis
K/Φ plot by facies – thin section samples only K/Φ plot of same data but by
K/Φ plot by facies – thin section samples only
K/Φ plot of same data but by genetic pore type
© Wayne Ahr 2009
© Wayne Ahr 2009
Petrophysical Rock Typing: Ahr/Humbolt (2008) continued
Petrophysical Rock Typing: Ahr/Humbolt
(2008) continued
Petrophysical Rock Typing: Ahr/Humbolt (2008) continued Same MICP data but using genetic pore type as discriminator
Petrophysical Rock Typing: Ahr/Humbolt (2008) continued Same MICP data but using genetic pore type as discriminator
Same MICP data but using genetic pore type as discriminator
Same MICP data but using genetic pore type as discriminator

Petrophysical rock types using facies as discriminator Method is based on K/Φ ratio and MICP measurements

Petrophysical Rock Typing: Ahr/Humbolt (2008) continued Same MICP data but using genetic pore type as discriminator
© Wayne Ahr 2009
© Wayne Ahr 2009
Defining Flow Units in Microbialite Reservoirs
Defining Flow Units in Microbialite
Reservoirs
 I define flow units as reservoir intervals with sufficient porosity and permeability to produce hydrocarbons.
I define flow units as reservoir intervals with sufficient
porosity and permeability to produce hydrocarbons.
Flow units may be graded as good, fair, and poor based
on their combined values of Φ & k and their capillary
characteristics
Genetic pore types are more likely to discriminate
between good-fair-poor flow units than “facies” or
“fabric”
Genetic pore types are readily identified in thin sections
© Wayne Ahr 2009
© Wayne Ahr 2009
How To Correlate Flow Units At Field Scale
How To Correlate Flow Units At Field Scale
1. Classify the genetic pore types – purely diagenetic, hybrid type 1-A (depositional attributes dominant), and
1. Classify the genetic pore types – purely diagenetic, hybrid type 1-A
(depositional attributes dominant), and hybrid type 1-B > C (diagenetic
attributes dominant) – to determine which has the most influence on
reservoir quality.
2. Identify the type of diagenesis – cementation, compaction, dissolution, replacement, or recrystallization – associated with
2.
Identify the type of diagenesis – cementation, compaction, dissolution,
replacement, or recrystallization – associated with the pore types in flow
units, baffles, and barriers.
3. Identify the diagenetic environment or environments in which pore alteration took place, how many episodes
3.
Identify the diagenetic environment or environments in which pore
alteration took place, how many episodes of change took place, and in
what order of occurrence the changes took place.
© Wayne Ahr 2009
© Wayne Ahr 2009
4. Search for evidence of paleoaquifers, exposure surfaces, stratigraphic cycles that may include evaporites, paleosols, or
4.
Search for evidence of paleoaquifers, exposure surfaces, stratigraphic
cycles that may include evaporites, paleosols, or karst features by
comparing lithological logs from cores or cuttings with subsurface
geological data (structure and stratigraphy), seismic profiles and seismic
attributes, biostratigraphic data, and geochemical data. If joints or
fractures are part of the pore systems, fracture geometry usually occurs in
predictable patterns on faults and folds.
5. Diagenetic porosity may correspond to present structure, paleostructure, proximity to unconformities, proximity to facies such
5. Diagenetic porosity may correspond to present structure, paleostructure,
proximity to unconformities, proximity to facies such as evaporites or
lacustrine deposits, or proximity to fracture systems that were conduits for
migrating fluids.
6. Purely diagenetic porosity (e.g., dolostones in which all traces of original limestone properties have been
6.
Purely diagenetic porosity (e.g., dolostones in which all traces of original
limestone properties have been replaced) may correspond to position in
stratigraphic cycles (e.g., top, middle, or bottom of the cycle) or to horizons
where evaporites, ordinary dolomites, silicates and sulfides, or saddle
dolomites occur together.
© Wayne Ahr 2009
© Wayne Ahr 2009
Conclusions
Conclusions
 Microbialites may exist in any depositional environment but not all environments produce sufficient volume of
Microbialites may exist in any depositional environment but not all
environments produce sufficient volume of microbial carbonate to be
reservoirs, e.g., springs, lakes, travertine dams, & most methane seeps
 
Microbial carbonates are not detrital except in reworked deposits, therefore they are not classified as “Dunham”
Microbial carbonates are not detrital except in reworked deposits,
therefore they are not classified as “Dunham” detrital carbonates
Conclusions  Microbialites may exist in any depositional environment but not all environments produce sufficient volume

Porosity is not “interparticle”; therefore Lucia’s 1995 rock-typing method is not applicable

Conclusions  Microbialites may exist in any depositional environment but not all environments produce sufficient volume
 Winland R35 rock typing method is inadequate for microbialites because pore/pore throat geometry is too
Winland R35 rock typing method is inadequate for microbialites because
pore/pore throat geometry is too variable and because most Winland tests
are based on “facies”
Semilog k/Φ plots based on genetic pore types identified in thin sections
provides better discrimination between good, fair, poor petrophysical rock
types and corresponding flow units.
The method can be used with any rock type and any pore type including
fractured reservoirs.
© Wayne Ahr 2009
© Wayne Ahr 2009