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Fall, 2011 PTE-461
Section 2: Petroleum Geology Lite
Donald G. Hill, Ph.D.
California Registered Geophysicist 170 California Registered Geologist 6043 Kentucky Registered Professional Geologist 1624 Texas Licensed Professional Geophysicist 6289
Petrophysics, Shallow Geophysics, Borehole Geophysics, and Subsurface Geology Planning, Oversight, and Interpretation
1012 Hillendale Ct Walnut Creek, CA USA 94596 http://www.hillpetro.com
+(925) 437-5748 Business +(925) 437-5748 Cell +(309) 420-7354 FAX firstname.lastname@example.org
USC PTE-461, Basic Petrophysics - Fall, 2011 Section 2: Petroleum Geology Lite
Table of Contents Subject Introduction Minerals Rocks Igneous Rocks Metamorphic Rocks Sedimentary Rocks Clastics Fossils, Carbonates, and Diatomites Evaporites Reservoir Rock Types Clastic Reservoirs Carbonate Reservoirs Unconventional Reservoirs Coal Bed Methane Shale Gas Other Unconventional Reservoir Types Oil Shales Tar Sands The Bakken Formation Monterey Shale Origin of Petroleum Migration of Petroleum What is Needed for a Petroleum Reservoir Atlas of Reservoir Types and Traps Anticlinal Trap Breached Anticline Faulted Anticlinal Trap Anticline Crestal Keystone and Thrust Imbricate Faults Growth Fault Anticlinal Trap Piercement Salt and Mobile Shale Domes Clastic Stratigraphic Trap Transgressive Seas and On-Lap Traps Carbonate Reservoirs Bi-Modal Clastic Model References Useful Websites Tables Table 2-1: Structural-Stratigraphic Classification of Petroleum Reservoirs 2-24 Page 2-1 2-2 2-3 2-3 2-5 2-7 2-8 2-11 2-11 2-12 2-12 2-14 2-14 2-15 2-17 2-20 2-20 2-21 2-21 2-22 2-22 2-26 2-27 2-29 2-30 2-31 2-31 2-32 2-32 2-35 2-37 2-38 2-40 2-41 2-41 2-55
Donald G. Hill, Ph.D., R.Gp, R.G., R.P.G., L.P.Gp.
USC PTE-461, Basic Petrophysics - Fall, 2011 Section 2: Petroleum Geology Lite
Figures Figure 2-1: Figure 2-2: Figure 2-3: Figure 2-4: Figure 2-5: Figure 2-6: Figure 2-7: Figure 2-8: Figure 2-9: Figure 2-10: Figure 2-11: Figure 2-12: Figure 2-13: Figure 2-14: Figure 2-15: Figure 2-16: Figure 2-17: Figure 2-18: Figure 2-19: Figure 2-20: Figure 2-21: Figure 2-22: Figure 2-23: Figure 2-24: Figure 2-25: Figure 2-26: Figure 2-27: Figure 2-28: Figure 2-29: Figure 2-30: Crystal Forms for Quartz 2-1 Quartz Crystals are Independent of Size 2-2 Vesicular Basal, showing Vesicular gas Bubble Tubes 2-4 Polished Granite Gneiss Containing Biotite, Quartz, Feldspar, And Muscovite 2-5 Comparison of Common Clastic Material Grain Size Scales 2-6 The Effects of Grain Size and Water Velocity on Erosion of Loose Grains 2-7 Cubic and Rhombohedrally Packed Spheres, Showing the Porosity Extremes Dependent Upon Packing, but independent Of Sphere Size 2-9 Sandstone Exhibiting Fine-Scale Bedding, and an Unconformity 2-9 Comparison of Pore-Throat Sizes in Common Sedimentary Rock with Fluid Molecule Sizes and Measurement Technique Resolution 2-10 Example of Shallow Channel Sands Coalescing and then Dispersing into Distributary Sands 2-12 Visualization of Stacked Sand Reservoirs 2-13 Schematic Model of Supergiant Tengiz Platform Reef Field 2-14 US Coal Resources, With Major Basins Annotated 2-15 Common CBM Recovery Technique 2-16 US Shale Gas Play Map 2-17 Vertical vs. Horizontal Well Shale Gas Completion 2-17 Multi-Stage Horizontal Well Completion 2-18 Surface Activity for Typical Barnett Shale Fracture Operation 2-19 API Gravity vs. Depth for Tensleep Reservoirs in Wyoming 2-23 Idealized Anticlinal Structure 2-25 Santa Fe Springs Field, CA, Structure 2-26 Santa Fe Springs Field, CA, Structural Cross-Section AA' 2-27 Circle Ridge Anticline, WY, Photo Mosaic 2-28 Upper Circle Ridge Field, WY, Structure Contours on Top of Phosphoria Limestone 2-29 Upper Circle Ridge Field, WY, Structural Cross-Section Along Line AA' of Figure 2-24 2-30 Visualization of Thrust Faults with Secondary Keystone Faults 2-31 Schematic Representation of Growth Faults 2-32 Lewisburg Field, LA, Contour Map on Top of Frio Formation Showing Five Growth-Fault Created Reservoir Blocks 2-33 Visualization of a of Piercement Salt Domes 2-34 Three-Dimensional Renderings of Avery Island Salt Dome, LA 2-35
Donald G. Hill, Ph.D., R.Gp, R.G., R.P.G., L.P.Gp.
USC PTE-461, Basic Petrophysics - Fall, 2011 Section 2: Petroleum Geology Lite
Figure 2-31: Figure 2-32: Figure 2-33:
East Texas Field, TX, Map East Texas Field Structural and Stratigraphic Cross-Section Paul Valley, Oklahoma, Uplift Cross-Section, Showing on-Lap Sedimentation Against an Unconformity Figure 2-34: Map of Horseshoe Atoll Fields, Texas, Including Kelley-Snyder Field Figure 2-35: Kelly-Snyder Field, Texas, Field Outline and Structure Contoured on the Top Canyon Reservoir Figure 2-36: Kelly-Snyder Field, TX, Cross-Section Along Line AA' Figure 2-37: Sieve Analysis for a Recent Gulf Coast Sand Interval with Two Dominant Grain Sizes Figure 2-38: Comparison of Basketballs to BBs Figure 2-39: Bi-Modal Particle Size Sediment Model Figure 2-40: Sand Porosity vs. Depth, for a Gulf Coast Well Figure 2-41: Shale Chip Porosity vs. Depth, for a Gulf Coast Well Figure 2-42: Bi-Modal Clastic Model Total and Effective Porosity vs. Grain Fraction
2-36 2-37 2-37 2-38 2-39 2-40 2-41 2-42 2-43 2-44 2-45 2-46
Donald G. Hill, Ph.D., R.Gp, R.G., R.P.G., L.P.Gp.
As petroleum engineers, you may be asked to assess and/or recover hydrocarbons from subterranean reservoirs. The popular public impressions are often that these reservoirs are large underground lakes of the fluids just waiting to be produced. This impression, aided by the fact that some jurisdictions refer to oil and gas reservoirs as “Pools”, is not the case. While some vuggy carbonate reservoirs have vugs approaching caverns, in size, most reservoirs more closely resemble granular, or porous porcelain, filters than they do Carlsbad Caverns. Chemical engineers often deal with engineered filters and porous beds. In fact, much of reservoir simulation theory is based on concepts first developed for these engineered materials. Actual reservoirs, however, are usually much more heterogeneous and complex. Fortunately, for reservoir engineers, subsurface, development, and/or reservoir geologists and geophysicists are available to provide descriptions of the reservoirs to be produced. Reservoir engineers, however, do need to know a little about geology and geologic terminology to be able to understand these geologic descriptions. Otherwise, the two disciplines cannot communicate.
Figure 2-1: Crystal Forms for Quartz (after Barry and Mason, 1959).
and then work our way up through rocks. depending on the mineral type and the conditions under which they formed. In geology. Hill. at least.P. have specific chemical formulas. shown in Figures 2-1 and 2-2.. R. quartz crystals weighing several pounds and measuring several inches long have been formed under optimum conditions.. R. L. Crystals can be microscopic to quite large. such as quartz (SiO2). and plagioclase Donald G. and pyrite (FeS2). We will start our discussion at the bottom. however. 2011 Section 2: Petroleum Geology Lite Minerals In chemistry. With few exceptions (e. The sizes of most.Fe)3(AlSi3O10)(OH)2)... Basic Petrophysics .Gp. natural mineral crystals.G. R.Fall. Others. Some minerals.g. to end up with petroleum reservoirs and hydrocarbon traps. we will leave the physicists to play with their sub-atomic particles). The net result of this geometric relationship is the formation of distinctly recognizable crystals. such as those of quartz. with their constituent ions occupying specific positions in a geometric framework. such as biotite (K(Mg. Minerals are crystalline. called a crystal lattice. we learn that rocks are the building blocks of the earth and that minerals are the building blocks of rocks. we learned that atoms are the building blocks of the universe (for now. calcite (CaCO3). Dolomite (CaMg(CO3)2).P. For example.USC PTE-461. agate and opal). Page: 2-2 . Figure 2-2: Quartz Crystals are Independent of Size. with minerals. Ph.Gp. are found in the microscopic to a few mm range.D.G.
Basic Petrophysics . causing washed-out boreholes. We will briefly discuss all three types. R. those separated by commas). also form petroleum reservoirs. pyrite.Gp. Page: 2-3 . There are literally a few thousand minerals (some named after their discoverer or the discoverer's major professor). and in Arizona. containing high percentages of calcite and dolomite require different drill bits than shales. or as solidified lava flows. The most common reservoir rock minerals are: anhydrite. Because the wireline and MWD measurements utilized for FE will be composite measurements. which form sedimentary rocks.D. commonly found in reservoir rocks.G. dolomite.Si)AlSi2O3) form solid substitution series for some of their elements (i. IGNEOUS ROCKS All igneous rocks were once high temperature liquid (molten) melts. during the drilling operations. such as the Sierra Nevada Batholith. Each of the above minerals will have unique physical responses to the measurements used for formation evaluation (FE). halite. are expansive minerals which will swell. as well as enlarged boreholes due to caving. New Mexico. and Washington.Gp. feldspars. Oregon. L. which will dissolve in contact with water-based drilling muds. Igneous rocks are most often seen. Rocks. such as on the Island of Hawaii. as granitic mountain cores. 2011 Section 2: Petroleum Geology Lite ((Na. and logging tools. because the materials. knowledge of the mineralogy involved will greatly assist interpretation. particularly montmorillonite. R. Clay minerals. Idaho. and quartz. calcite. Mineralogy can also affect drilling operations and borehole conditions. There are three major types of rocks: igneous. however. at the surface. Anhydrite and Halite are evaporites. The great majority of petroleum reservoirs are sedimentary rocks. R. and sedimentary. Nevada. clay minerals. gypsum. not minerals. where their presence can only be inferred by changes in seismic velocities and refraction of seismic wave trains through them. Donald G.Ca)(Al.Fall.. micas.e. These molten rocks can currently be seen at active volcanoes. however. containing high percentages of clay minerals. can come from all three.P.. California. Being able to read and understand geologic reports will help drilling engineers plan more efficient drilling operations and avoid expensive fishing operations. It is thought that even larger amounts of molten (or near molten) rocks lie at great depths.P. Hill.G. Ph.. with the same current chemical composition. in California. Carbonates. Rocks Rocks are composites of their constituent minerals. causing stuck drill strings. There are only a few minerals.USC PTE-461.. metamorphic.
and used for counter tops. 2011 Section 2: Petroleum Geology Lite There is no precursor to igneous rocks. which often form from high water content melts at the final stages of solidification. gabbro. except molten magma. of miles before settling back to earth.USC PTE-461.Gp. Basic Petrophysics .D. Page: 2-4 . the amount of water in the magma. showing Vesicular Gas Bubble Tubes. Granite. and basalt are often cut in to slabs. interior trim and building facing..P.G. gabbro.P.. Ph. Donald G. and rhyolite. polished. Hill. Explosive volcanic eruptions discharge large volumes of fine-grained volcanic glass shards (ash) into the atmosphere where they can travel hundreds. L. These wide-spread volcanic ash beds are often used by subsurface geologists as "time markers" for correlation because of they represent a very short interval in geologic time. Common igneous rocks are granite. to thousands. The largest crystals are found in pegmatites. Igneous rocks that solidify at depth tend to have larger mineral crystals than those.G. basalt (sometimes called black granite).Fall.Gp. Volcanic glass (obsidian) solidifies so rapidly at the surface that there is no crystalline structure. R. the temperature at which it solidifies.. R. The type of igneous rocks. which form from a magma is dependent upon the original chemical composition of the magma. R. Granite is also often used for tombstones. Figure 2-3: Vesicular Basalt. which solidify on the surface. and the pressure at which it solidifies.
.Gp...Gp.P. which means that the earth. Page: 2-5 . Figure 2-4: Polished Granite Gneiss Containing Biotite.G.D.Fall. METAMORPHIC ROCKS Metamorphic rocks have been altered (i.G. For example. Donald G. as well as great compression and/or shear forces at work. Metamorphic rocks are found in regions where there have been high temperatures and chemically charged aqueous solutions. The oldest rocks on earth (radioactively dated at over 5. or even metamorphic rocks. Hill. One criterion of metamorphic rocks is that there needs to be some indication of their former state. Weathered igneous rock products. The precursor to a metamorphic rock can be igneous. Michigan. but has no indication of this history on fresh fractured surfaces. L. 2011 Section 2: Petroleum Geology Lite Igneous rocks themselves. interior trim. The source of the sands. Exceptions to this ruleof-thumb occur in Vesicular Basalt flows of Indonesia and Japan (see Figure 2-3). sedimentary. often form source materials for the sedimentary rocks.P. respectively.(glacial) tillite. R. feldspars. such as the Franciscan terrains of the Northern California Coast Ranges.USC PTE-461.. near Marquette. and Granite Gneiss. Basic Petrophysics . Feldspar and Muscovite. R. are generally not reservoir rocks.5 Billion yr. metamorphosed) from something else. must be much older. Ph. and building the Niger Delta are weathering products of the Sierra Nevada Batholith and the African Shield. which often do form reservoirs.e. Examples of metamorphic rocks are marble (metamorphosed limestone) and Verde Antique Marble (serpentinized basalt). All of these rocks are often used as building facings. Quartz.) are metamorphic. and clay minerals filling the Central Valley of California. or for counter tops (see Figure 24). however. shows the outlines of the glacial eratics on its weathered surfaces. an early Pre-Cambrian (Archian) meta. R. itself.
G.. are generally not reservoir rocks. and Pettijon. Hill.D. Exceptions to this rule-of thumb occur in SW Texas as serpentinized volcanic rock oil reservoirs. Metamorphic rocks. Basic Petrophysics . Page: 2-6 . however..Gp. Ph. R. 2011 Section 2: Petroleum Geology Lite Figure 2-5: Comparison of Common Clastic Material Grain Size Scales (after Griffiths. Weathered metamorphic rock products. 1957).P. 1957.P. themselves.. L.G. R.Fall.USC PTE-461. can form the source materials for sedimentary rocks. Donald G. R. which often do form reservoirs.Gp.
. The finer grain sizes (i. the rock fragments undergo further mechanical and chemical weathering. or granular materials. R. or water to places of deposition. R. High water stream flows. During transport.. These liberated pieces of rock are then transported by gravity.Gp. 2011 Section 2: Petroleum Geology Lite SEDIMENTARY ROCKS Sedimentary rocks are formed from the weathered products of other rocks. and rivers. These chemicals then travel from the source to some deposition location in solution. This characteristic is illustrated in Figure 2-6..D. wind. Ph. in solution. in volume.e. Water filled cracks. via abrasion. or by chemical reactions). Basic Petrophysics . upon freezing. where they can become lithified to form sedimentary rocks.G. or even older sedimentary rocks. due to "frost heaving" when the water freezes and thaws.. The source of these materials can be igneous. R. and temperature.USC PTE-461.P.. Figure 2-5 compares several common particle size descriptions. smaller than boldercobble size) are most useful for describing petroleum reservoirs. Page: 2-7 . in suspension. in temperate climates increase the rate of weathering. either mechanically or chemically. Water expands. Hill. are transported by wind. via abrasion by the suspended granular material. Rocks exposed to the atmosphere will weather (disintegrate due to extremes of wind water. Wind driven dust and sand.Fall. 1980). Water flow mechanical erosion is most successful in eroding grains. Mechanical weathering removes portions of rock materials physically from their source.G. Water velocity is on the vertical axis and grain size on the horizontal axis (fine Donald G. L.P. Figure 2-6: The Effects of Grain Size and Water Velocity on Erosion of Loose Grains (after Blatt et al. metamorphic. as another form of mechanical weathering. lakes.Gp. will erode the surfaces over which they flow. Weathered materials. Transport mechanisms vary according to size of the rock fragments. due to seasonal flooding. Chemicals are leached from minerals in rocks by water in rainfall. and/or water. to a deposition location. which are already loose. from sediment sources. Water transport can be either by dissolved salts. in arid regions. will erode rock surfaces. ice.
G. Carbon dioxide (CO2). there is erosion. which react with other minerals in the rock.. busses.. with grains suspended in the moving water.g. Coarser grain-sizes and heavier minerals settle out first. to form weak acids. there is no erosion. during deposition. A clear running stream.D. with the grain sizes and densities still in suspension decreasing as the water flow velocity decreases.Gp. Clastics Clastic deposit type descriptions depend upon grain size. grain density. that same stream will be flowing faster and overflow its banks. and gravels) or chemical (playa evaporite or carbonate reef) deposits. The gray region.. where they can be carried by prevailing winds over great distances. due to acid rain. which will react with (at least some) minerals in exposed rock surfaces. An example of artificially rapid chemical weathering is the deterioration of marble statuary. Above it. Sulfur dioxide (SO2). At flood stage.g. from the acidified clouds. are particularly susceptible to the effects of acid rain. Materials carried by waters (either as dissolved ions. The only grain movement is by salting and traction. power plants. Donald G.P. Basic Petrophysics . carbon dioxide (CO2). and marble statuary. often used in limestone building walls. will react with minerals in building walls and statuary accelerating the effects of natural chemical weathering. When rivers and streams encounter flat land and/or open water. has removed all grain sizes within the erosion region of Figure 2-3. Coarser grained clastic deposits can become reservoir rock once lithified. in the NE US and Eastern Canada. Chemical erosion can occur when rain-water dissolves acidic minerals (e. within its banks. can be dissolved in rainwater. sand. The last to settle out will be the clay-size particles and clay minerals. these gases mix with water vapor in clouds. tombstones. as well as the region of grain movement by salting and traction (skipping along the channel bed surface). Rainfall. and other heavy industries) and mobile (e. Page: 2-8 ..Fall. Hill. The higher water velocity will suspend grain sizes. The large scatter in the data for fine-grained particles reflects some of the unique properties of clay-sized particles and clay minerals.Gp.USC PTE-461. the water flowing outside the stream banks will encounter and suspend finer grain sizes than were present in the stream-bed. forming a weak acid. At flood stage. Once airborne. and water velocity. in the atmosphere. as clastic (clays. flow rates decrease and suspended sediment begins to settle out of the moving water. 2011 Section 2: Petroleum Geology Lite grains on the left and coarse grains on the right). for the study. Settling patterns are the reverse of erosion patterns.G. at normal stage flow. sulfides) in exposed rock. Ph. and oxides of nitrogen (NOx) released by stationary (e. itself. Both chemical and mechanical erosion remove material from the source rock area and transport it downstream.g. Below the gray shaded region. however. which will be discussed later. trucks. automobiles.. releasing acids. which were below the erosion level. or suspended grains) will eventually be deposited. marks the data scatter.P.. train engines) sources into the atmosphere. The net result is that flood stage stream flow is turbid. Carbonates (limestone and marble). L. R. while normal stage flow is usually clear. R. R.
USC PTE-461. such as crude oil and natural gas.Fall. For clastic rocks. Hill.. Dependent Upon Packing. cementation and compaction. R.G. L. Page: 2-9 . porosity is a function of grain size distribution. and an Unconformity.P. Ph. Porosity (relative void space) of rocks is a measure of the volume available for storing fluids.. R. R. Figure 2-8: Sandstone Exhibiting Fine-Scale Bedding.G. Basic Petrophysics .D.P. packing. Donald G. but Independent of Sphere Size (after Anon.Gp.Gp. 1992).. 2011 Section 2: Petroleum Geology Lite Figure 2-7: Cubic and Rhombohedrally Packed Spheres. Showing the Porosity Extremes. of interest to petroleum engineers.
grain size distribution will be a function of flow rate condition at the time of deposition of the clastic grains. The porosity values of Figure 2-7 are extremes. 2008). Ph. L. of Figure 2-7) yields the greatest porosity (48%). Uniform flow will have a narrow range of grain sizes. Hill. shown in Figure 2-7 are independent of particle size. while Rhombohedral packing (right hand side of Figure 2-7) yields the lowest (26%). R. 2011 Section 2: Petroleum Geology Lite As stated above. Beard and Weyl (1973) average results for poorly sorted “wetpacked” sands was 27.Fall. R. The porosity relationships. Permeability.Gp. when there is a broad dispersion of particle sizes..P.D. Page: 2-10 . Basic Petrophysics . This particle size independence of porosity collapses. R. 1992).Gp. Cubic packing (left hand side. Beard and Weyl (1973) determined that well sorted “wet-packed” sands averaged about 42. the ability for fluids to flow through a porous material is not independent of pore size. which probably do not reflect real life situations.G.4% porosity.9%. This is because of frictional effects between the walls of the pore Donald G.P. as long as the particle size is uniform (Anon.USC PTE-461.G. Figure 2-7 illustrates two extreme types of uniform sphere packing.. while turbulent flow will have a greater diversity of grain sizes. Figure 2-9: Comparison of Pore-Throat Sizes in Common Sedimentary Rock with Fluid Molecule Sizes and Measurement Technique Resolution (after Nelson..
depths) and are easily dissolved in contact with subsurface waters. The net result is increased salinity of the standing waters. providing a particularly vexing challenge to reservoir engineers charged with extracting petroleum from them. L.g. and chert. Oman. If the salinity becomes great enough. oölites can form. evaporites tend to heal any fractures and/or pore space. foraminifers and diatoms. indicate that. such as crustaceans. such that exist as shallow as 2. shell beds will form.G. The Great Salt Lake and The Salton Sea. largely from the shells of diatoms are diatomaceous earth (kitty litter). Hill. Aragonite (CaCO3) will begin to precipate on dust. Rocks formed. Larger grain sizes will result in larger pore throats. This small sample shows fine-scale bedding . shallow. Basic Petrophysics . If shell collections are numerous enough.P. The North Sea. This hand sample also shows an unconformity – an erosional surface where two different sets of bedding planes intersect. extract dissolved minerals from seawater to form their shells. Page: 2-11 . R. corals. this chemical precipitation is occurring in closed basin.. Cape Breton Island. over geological time. salts will crystallize and precipitate. and The Congo Basin.Gp. particles. In tropical seas.000 ft. diatomite. 2011 Section 2: Petroleum Geology Lite throats and the fluid passing through them.3.Fall. and Diatomites Marine animals. very large. Evaporites generally do not form reservoir rocks. the Monterey Formation. wave motion. Fossils.G. Ph.Gp. Carbonates. The Permian Basin. above. mollusks. are much more complex than the idealized rocks described. the shells sink to the sea bottom and eventually become incorporated into rocks. or other very fine. making them excellent reservoir seals. They become plastic at relatively low temperatures and pressures (e. R.g. semi-isolated seas have existed. Evaporites In arid environments. Because of these characteristics. which probably also contain different minerals.alternating layers of fine and coarser grained particles. of California). R. Diatomites can also become very low permeability petroleum reservoir rocks (e. This is illustrated by Figure 2-9 The above discussion provides a foundation for the interface between geology and reservoir engineering. If there is modest. The Gulf of Mexico.. forming evaporite deposits. The gentle wave action keeps the Donald G. inland lakes. Real rocks. such as The Dead Sea.P. When the animal dies.. Currently. The Persian Gulf. Extensive thick salt deposits in the Michigan Basin.D. coral colonies and mollusks extract large amounts of calcium and carbonate ions from seawater to form large reef structures to protect their soft bodies. Both shell beds and coral reefs can become carbonate reservoir rocks after lithification. which will yield higher permeabilities.USC PTE-461. Southern Iran Desert. Figure 2-8 is a photograph of a small sample of a reservoir quality sandstone... however. evaporation of standing water bodies often exceeds inflow from streams.000 .
These oölitic sands can become very good petroleum reservoirs. R. with silt sized particles between those of clays and sands. they can be carried by stronger waves into seabed bar like deposits. R. sands.G. Of those three.Gp. 2011 Section 2: Petroleum Geology Lite deposition centers in motion so that aragonite is added in concentric spherical shells about the oölite centers. by wind. is based on grain size. which have been weathered from their source rock and transported to a deposition location. carbonates (limestones and dolomites) and evaporites (anhydrates. anhydrites. Clastic rocks are identified by their dominant particle size (see Figure 2-5). sandstones. and silts.P. Reservoir Rock Types Reservoirs are rocks that can store hydrocarbons and deliver them to a borehole. see Section 1). or ice. When the oölites reach sand grain size. Clastic Reservoirs Clastic rocks consist of mineral grains. compacted and/or cemented (lithified) into rock. The "clay" classification... however. Ph. R. Hydrocarbons can only be stored in the void spaces (porosity.P. clastics and carbonates are the most common reservoir rock types.G. and conglomerates). Most clay mineral grains in rocks.USC PTE-461. Basic Petrophysics . the sands Figure 2-10: Example of Shallow Channel Sands Coalescing and then Dispersing into Distributary Sands (after Hill and Qualheim. water. The three major types of sedimentary rocks are clastics (shales. The finest clastics are called clays. of Figure 2-5.Gp. dolomites. and halites). 1995) Donald G. Almost all petroleum reservoirs are in sedimentary rocks. Between these two extremes are gravels. gypsums. not mineral type. . Hill. Page: 2-12 . L. The coarsest particle sizes are classified as boulders. After lithification. the clays become shales. are also clay particle size. the silts become siltstones.Fall.D..
consequently. higher permeability. R. is an example of a barrier sand reservoir. consisting of individual solid particles have void space (porosity) between the grains. braided stream sands.G. or up-dip faulting. Examples of regional sands are the St. Sands can be deposited as regional. Figure 2-7 illustrates the porosities for the extreme cases of cubic and rhombohedrally packed spheres. distributary sands.Gp. R. The amount of porosity depends upon sorting.Gp. Hill.USC PTE-461.. Basic Petrophysics .P. Coarser grain packs will have larger pore throats and. R. bay-mouth. Peter Sandstone and The Dakota Sandstone. These results were the same. Petroleum reservoirs in these sands must have structural closure.Fall. LLC).D. distributary. The Bell Creek Field. in the North American mid-continent. silt sized particle sediments become siltstone reservoirs. Referring to the grain size chart of Figure 2-7. is dependent upon pore throat size. Sandstone reservoirs are the most common form of petroleum reservoirs. Grafton and Frazer (1935) demonstrated that random packs of uniform spheres yielded porosity values between 26% and 47%. or blanket.. The ability of the reservoir rock to deliver hydrocarbons to a borehole. 2011 Section 2: Petroleum Geology Lite Clastic rocks. anticlinal folds. Page: 2-13 . while sands become sandstones. bay-mouth. and long shore sands. even though the porosities me be comparable. Figure 2-9 illustrates the pore throat size ranges in comparison to reservoir fluid molecular sizes and measurement technique resolution. Montana. sands. regardless of the size of the spheres used. such as domes. grain packing. or the shales may even have higher porosity. and long shore sand reservoirs. the permeability.. L. channel sands. SW Louisiana has several examples of channel. Figure 2-11: Visualization of Stacked Channel Sand Reservoirs (courtesy of John Perez Graphics & Design.P. Ph. This is why sands and gravels at a given depth will have much higher permeability than shales at that same depth. Figure 2-10 shows an example of channel sands coalescing and then Donald G. depending upon the packing.G. and the boulders and gravels become conglomerates. or barrier sands. and cementation.
Unaltered carbonates usually have very low porosities and permeabilities.. are carbonate reservoirs. and Tengiz Field.D. creating dolomite (Ca.USC PTE-461. R. Another mechanism to create porosity and permeability in carbonates is via dolomitization.G. porosity must be created by fracturing and/or solution leaching along fractures. to organic rich coals. were not considered to be viable reservoir rocks. Unconventional Reservoirs Unconventional reservoir rocks include a wide range of rocks whose only common characteristics is that they have such low permeability that until recently. Carbonate Reservoirs Carbonate rocks are mostly limestones and dolomites.P. Ph. South Pars Field (Iran). or partings in the rocks. at least. While there are not as many carbonate reservoirs as sandstone reservoirs. Page: 2-14 .. Figure 2-12: Schematic Model of Supergiant Tengiz Platform Reef Field (after Dehghani. which form from muddy shell beds and coral reefs. L. such as the North Gas Field (Qatar). al. clastic layers. for tight gas sands. Figure 2-11 shows a visualization of stacked channel sand reservoirs. For carbonates to become reservoir rocks. Somewhere in the middle are shales and oil shales (really organic rich marls) with 50% < TOC < 85%. Kazakhstan (see Figure 2-12). et.. Their Total Organic Content (TOC) or Kerogen ranges from near 0%. Hill. with Mg+2.. Basic Petrophysics .Gp.G. The dolomite crystal unit cell is smaller than that for calcite. Donald G. 2011 Section 2: Petroleum Geology Lite separating in a shallow alluvial fan deposit. R.Gp. so that dolomitization creates porosity and permeability.Mg(CO3)2). R. Dolomitization involves replacing some of the Ca+2 ions in the calcite (CaCO3) crystal lattice. with TOC near 100%. some of the world's largest and most prolific oil and gas fields. 2008).Fall.P.
Basic Petrophysics . This map is a little misleading as some of the areas designated as coal fields. Resources do not translate directly into Reserves as no consideration is made for economic viability of potential development in USGS Resource Assessments. Figure 2-13: US Coal Resources. thin.. low-grade lignite coal beds. these rock types now have a new designation as “Unconventional Reservoirs”. such as the Michigan Basin and the mid-continent Cherokee-Forrest City Basins of Iowa Kansas. 2011 Section 2: Petroleum Geology Lite With the exception of tight gas sands. With Major Basins Annotated (after: ALL Consulting. Coal Bed Methane Figure 2-13 shows the most common version of US coal resources distribution.G.. R.P.G.D. as well as declining major new discoveries. because of advances in drilling and completion technology. Ph.Fall. R. which if developed at all were mined by crude surface mining methods.Gp. but their permeabilities were considered to be to low for commercial gas and/or oil development.USC PTE-461. In the late Donald G.P. as in the North Sea. L. Finally. There are also questions regarding the reliability of the information used to compile these maps. R. Methane is endemic to underground coal mines and a common poison and explosion hazard. Coal beds are also often source rocks for gas fields. long ago.Gp. While their porosities and permeabilities have not changed. Page: 2-15 . and Missouri contain only shallow. 2004). Unconventional reservoir rocks have long been acknowledged as source rocks.. Hill.
An outsized well is drilled into the coal bed of interest and water is allowed accumulate in the well sump. Hill. primarily. bituminous. Figure 2-14: Common CBM Recovery Technique (after: ALL Consulting. effecting water supplies for livestock. San Juan Basin of Colorado and New Mexico and Uinta Basin of Colorado and Utah. A submersible pump.. R. recovers the water from the coal bed. and the above problems remained. huge volumes of high salinity contaminated water are also produced. combined to slow CBM development.D.G.Gp. in Wyoming. R. which collect in the coal cleats. homes. Basic Petrophysics . in the sump. R. In the end.G. These developments were concentrated. causing disposal problems. When other sources of gas became readily available. Figure 2-14 is a schematic representation of the most common CBM recovery technique. resulted in very strict environmental controls and large damage claim settlements. 2011 Section 2: Petroleum Geology Lite 1990’s and early 2000’s there was a drive to drill multiple closely spaced wells into recent. with this technique. Page: 2-16 . and lowering the regional water table. Donald G. and Wasatch Plateau. and sub-bituminous coals to produce methane. Ph. reducing the formation pressure and liberating methane attached to cleats in the coal. shallow lignite. High transmission costs. 2004). and irrigation.USC PTE-461.Gp. While considerable gas can be produced. Low commodity (gas) prices.P.. in the Black Warrior Basin of Alabama. because of the high total dissolved solids (TDS) content of the water. • • • • • High costs associated with CBM development. crop damage and stock die-offs accompanying heavy CBM development. Powder River Basin of Montana and Wyoming.P.. CBM development declined markedly. Environmental concerns and restrictions. of Utah. Slow return on investment. L. The water well damage.Fall. and dissolved in the water.
. the most common oil and gas source rocks. and their basins.. Figure 2-14 shows major shale gas plays of the Lower 48 US states.P. like the Michigan Basin Antrim Shale.P. 2008). R.Fall.G. L. Some.. have been considered for surface mining and retorting as a source of crude oil.D. 2008). R. Horizontal Well Shale Gas Completion (after: Brownell. Page: 2-17 . R. Basic Petrophysics . Donald G. Figure 2-16: Vertical vs.G.Gp.Gp. Ph. Shale Gas Organic rich shales are. Hill. 2011 Section 2: Petroleum Geology Lite Figure 2-15: US Shale Gas Play Map (after: Anon. by far.USC PTE-461.
sparking a land rush by several Independents. Figure 2-16 illustrates both vertical and horizontal well fracturing.G. A drop in gas prices in the late 2000’s with few open land parcels left. greatly reduces completion costs for shale gas wells. during the 1981 gas boom by Mitchell Energy. Figure 2-17: Multi-Stage Horizontal Well Completion (after: Themig.. shifted activities to Donald G. sand) or artificial granular proppant material is forced into the formation. the stimulation of choice has been fracturing: A completion technology where the completion liner is perforated at regular intervals. Texas (NW of Fort Worth).P.. Initial shale gas wells had very slow production rates and. 2011 Section 2: Petroleum Geology Lite Because of the low permeability of shales. R. but has the largest financial impact for extended reach horizontal wells.. development was slow. 1. With increasing gas prices in the late 1990’s and early 2000’s. development pace picked up. consequently long pay-out periods. The technique can be used for either vertical or horizontal well.. followed by high pressure (i. Initially. above the formation fracture pressure) fluids and natural (i. As directional drilling and drill bit guidance became more sophisticated. without intervening clean-out wiper trips.e.D. Figure 2-17 is a schematic illustration of multi-stage completion for an extended reach horizontal well. This process expands the effective diameter of the well and exposes it to more of the formation.Fall.. vertical wells were used. drilled in Wise County. they need to be stimulated to produce gas at commercial rates.e. extended reach horizontal wells became more common.Gp. W. Hill.P. Because of this and a mid 1980’s gas price slump. The first (intentional) shale gas well was the C. but “cut and try” research with drilling and completion technology. Slay No. for shale gas development was multi-stage completion.USC PTE-461. In all cases. as well as with regional geologic studies continued. R. which allows multiple completion intervals for a single fracture job. Ph. L. The big technical break-through.Gp. Basic Petrophysics .G. followed by some multinationals. This technology. 2011). Page: 2-18 . R.
USC PTE-461.G. R. R. Haynesville. Fayetteville.. and Marcellus. fueled by drilling and completion accidents. Page: 2-19 . Antrim. concerns have arisen about noise. while others have applied strict conditions on drilling permits. Many shale gas plays have moved into urban and other areas not (recently.Fall. multinational companies who had been Donald G. Even with drilling and completion technology advancements.G. Hill. Since about 2008. Some states have reacted with drilling moratoriums pending environmental studies and legislation.Gp.. as well as safety. Wells must be cased and securely cemented to the surface. the surface area required to stage a modern shale gas well fracture job can be extensive (see Figure 2-18). air.P. productions rates are low.P. particularly for those resources far from large urban markets. resulting in long pay-out times for new development. the well-head price of natural gas has been marginal. In late 2009 – 2010. All of these aspects of shale gas development have greatly increased the costs of development. Consequently. and water pollution. Ph.. The pay intervals also need to be deep enough that they can be safely fractured. 2008). R. While several extended horizontal wells can be drilled from a single drilling pad. without break through to the surface.Gp. L. Shale Gas plays require thick organic rich shales with a high methane content. 2011 Section 2: Petroleum Geology Lite other potential shale gas plays.D. Figure 2-18: Surface Activity for Typical Barnett Shale Fracture Operation (after: Brackett. Completion fluids must be recovered and safely treated prior to disposal and/or reuse. Basic Petrophysics . and improper procedures. at least) exposed to extensive petroleum E&P development. such as the Woodford. so that there will be no leakage of completion fluids and/or gas into shallower aquifers or to the surface.
The Cleveland Cliffs Mining Co.1 mD) permeability sands with very low to no Kerogen content. 2011 Section 2: Petroleum Geology Lite setting on the sidelines began to acquire some of the land-poor independents that had overextended themselves during the various land rushes. which is easily accessible. currently. but may have something to do with the face that shale gas reserves will stay on company books longer than conventional oil and gas reserves. R. Oil Shales continue to remain a fuel source of the future. Colorado. Hill. and UNOCAL. R. This last effort was a technical success. particularly in the Colorado Plateau of Wyoming. Ph. Unfortunately. Three other types are briefly discussed below. and New Mexico. While the Kimmeridgian is primarily located under the hostile North Sea environment. Tight Gas Sands Tight gas sands are very low (<0. When the US gas marked collapsed in 2008. For a large company having difficulty replacing conventional reserves. the most prominent.. of the North Sea. Shale gas development has to fight..P.Gp. in that an extensive fracture network was established and mature crude oil was obtained. and the Kimmeridgian Chalk. CCI and TOSCO evaluated surface mining and retorting. TOSCO. the green River formation is located on the Colorado plateau. the resulting crudes and gases were highly radioactive and the site is not off limits for entry.G. such as the Green River Shale (misnomer) of Colorado and Utah. Environmental concerns and restrictions. The US DOE set off two underground nuclear explosions in an effort to in-situ retort the Kerogen and establish fracture permeability systems.G. examples of unconventional reservoir types.D. because of the low production rates. Basic Petrophysics . • • • • • High costs associated with shale gas development. development Donald G. R.. Oil Shales Oil shales are immature organic (Kerogen) rich marls.like CBM. L. During the 2000 – 2008 US gas price boom. The rationale for this is unclear.Fall.. Both of these extensive and thick formations are considered to be source rocks for conventional reservoirs in their respective basins. Other Unconventional Reservoir Types Shale gas and CBM are. Slow return on investment. it has been the target for innovative extraction technology evaluation by the US Department of Energy (US DOE). Shell Oil Co. (CCI).Gp.P. Low commodity prices. but not the only. High transportation costs. there was considerable activity to develop these resources. Utah. Shell evaluated in-situ Fire Floods. Consequently. acquiring shale gas reserves cushion the loss of more easily produced reserves. Page: 2-20 .USC PTE-461.
P.. R. including parts of Lake Athabasca. CONOCO-Phillips. and limestones. Tight Gas Sands are a resource extremely dependent upon commodity prices. Surface mining and processing have turned several Northern Alberta lakes. Eastern Montana. With continuing high (> U$S 70. Basic Petrophysics . Development is most successful with extended reach horizontal wells.g. Occidental. for crude oil as refinery stock input. Until recently. Often tar sands have been used directly (after heating and mixing) as road surface materials as asphalt concrete substitute... Exploration consists of locating those localized high porosity and permeability intervals.. Vertically. Middle Member porosities vary from 1 to 16% with an average of about 5 %. Tar Sand development remains viable only as long as there exists a shortage of conventional crude oil sources. EXXON-Mobil. dolostones. The middle member consists of highly variable porosity and permeability interbedded siltstones. The highest porosities and permeabilities appear to be localized and due to secondary porosity and fractures.G. Like other unconventional hydrocarbon resources. Tar Sands Tar Sands are sandstones (often with very high permeabilities). The most promising oil development areas to date have been in North Dakota.P. Permeabilities vary from 0 to 20 mD. and multi-stage completions. Page: 2-21 . with pore spaces plugged with very viscous (<8° API gravity) asphaltic bitumen. uses enormous amounts of oil and natural gas to drive the supporting steam generators and emits corresponding amounts of greenhouse gases. Southern Saskatchewan .g. with an average value of 0. Tar Sands have been considered to be too costly to extract and process.. They occur from surface outcrops to depth of a few thousand feet. several companies (e. Syncrude) and multinational oil companies (e.G. Chevron. L. TOTAL) have become very active in Canadian Tar Sand development.USC PTE-461.D. R. Hill. into toxic sumps. Oil Sands Quest. BP.Fall.04 mD. The Bakken Formation The Bakken formation is an extensive Upper Devonian – Lower Mississippian age clastic formation in the Williston Basin of Western North Dakota.00/Bbl) crude oil prices. 2011 Section 2: Petroleum Geology Lite essentially ceased.Gp. Donald G. and sandstones.Gp. Ph. intersecting vertical fractures. with lesser amounts of shale. Shell. Some US states have enacted legislation banning imports of Tar Sand crudes and refined products. Tar Sand development is not without its environmental tool. Steam Assisted Gravity Drainage (SAGD). R. and SW Manitoba. which must be either heated or diluted to flow at room temperature. the North Dakota section is broken into three members: The upper and lower members are slightly to highly organic rich shales which serve as both source rocks and reservoir seals for the middle member.
Websites listed at the end of this section offer other arguments.USC PTE-461. It is the source rock for nearly all of the California oil fields. methane: CH4) to very complex organic molecular chains and rings. but in no consistent fashion. Under-balanced drilling techniques have proven to be more successful than induced fracturing after the fact. have argued for inorganic origins to petroleum. Donald G. Monterey formation rock is characterized by very low matrix permeability. and porcelanite. almost from the beginning.Gp. R. As a result most of the E&P work has been done by independents with venture funding from investors and large companies. dolomite.Gp. but easily dissolve and re-precipitate as chert and or porcelanite. L. Monterey Shale The Monterey Shale (misnomer) is part of Miocene (6 – 17. including Dimitri Mendele'ev.6 million years old) age Pacific Rim ocean bottom sediments. chert. with very little clay minerals.P. The arguments for inorganic petroleum origin are: • • There is some laboratory evidence that hydrocarbons can be formed from volcanic gases. It has also been the reservoir rock for oil fields from the early 1900’s. father of the periodic table.D.P. some inorganic chemists. Production has occurred from essentially from all of the various facies. Some operators have been quite successful using regional fracture trend and detailed facies studies. R.. Diatoms probably formed the bulk of the Monterey type original sediments. Origin of Petroleum Petroleum consists of simple (e. Monterey E&P continues to be a high risk operation. Ph. There are some igneous and metamorphic hydrocarbon reservoirs. R.G. Morton’s (2000) description of Thomas Gold’s ideas on inorganic hydrocarbon origin provides an example of these arguments. and Russian scientists.. diatomite. physicists. Basic Petrophysics . because of the ephemeral nature of the reservoirs and the lack of significant structural closure. Astronomers. Page: 2-22 .G.g. 2011 Section 2: Petroleum Geology Lite Bakken recoverable reserves estimates have ranged from optimistic to ridiculous. with most of the production coming from natural or induced fractures. There have been two competing theories on the origin of petroleum.. Far from being a “classic shale”. which only larger firms with considerable deep pockets can afford to do. Both the chert and dolomite rich Monterey tend to shatter under tectonic stress and make the best reservoirs. over time.Fall.. Hill. The most consistent reservoir has been fractured dolomite. E&P remains high risk. it is a (both laterally and vertically) heterogonous mixture of organic and phosphatic rich siltstones.
D..USC PTE-461. marine and continental sediments. Major petroleum accumulations are found in unmatamorphosed. L. Ph.P. depth for Tensleep reservoirs of Wyoming (after Russell.Gp. 2004) geoscientists and petroleum scientists. 1960). have accepted an organic origin for petroleum. R. 2011 Section 2: Petroleum Geology Lite Figure 2-19: API Gravity vs.P.g. Hill.. R. Donald G. Kontorovich. however. R.Fall. Basic Petrophysics .. Page: 2-23 .Gp. The compelling arguments for organic petroleum origin are: • • Major petroleum accumulations are found only in sedimentary rocks.G.G.. Most western and modern Russian (e.
P. Basic Petrophysics .P. plankton.D. Petroleum hydrocarbons and related compounds occur in many living organisms. are found in most shales.g. and radiolaria).. contain petroleum hydrocarbons. isolated from shallower porous sediments.G.Fall.Gp. such as fish and microscopic marine life (e.G. Insoluble Kerogen.Gp. like the Nonesuch Shale. Table 1: Structural-Stratigraphic Classification of Petroleum Reservoirs (after Russell. R. 2011 Section 2: Petroleum Geology Lite • • • • • • • Major petroleum accumulations are found in porous sediments. are found in most shales. diatoms.. R. foraminifera.USC PTE-461. Donald G.. as old as Pre-Cambrian in age. Page: 2-24 . Hill. some. Organic rich shales. Ph. in some cases been able to tie hydrocarbons in specific organic rich shales to specific petroleum reservoirs. of Northern Michigan. similar to that found in paraphenic crudes is found in most shales. 1960).. R. L. Soluble liquid hydrocarbons. Soluble asphalts similar to those found in asphaltic crudes. Gas Chromatography/ Mass Spectrometry (GC/MS) has. at least. similar to heavier crude molecules.
and depth of burial relationship in the origin of petroleum. Ph. Methane is also a common product at wastewater treatment plants (sewer gas). Methane also is the only hydrocarbon in some of the deepest and hottest petroleum reservoirs. however.D. Deeper and even hotter reservoirs contain carbon dioxide (CO2). Basic Petrophysics . and high temperatures. heavy molecules (low API Gravity) to lighter and simpler (higher API Gravity) molecules with depth. the more complex hydrocarbon molecules break down into simpler (higher API Gravity) light crude molecules.Fall. With time. Methane is common in swamps (swamp gas) at the surface. recent petroleum reservoirs. as shown in Figure 2-19..USC PTE-461.. heavy oil (low API gravity) hydrocarbon chains and rings.P.G. Hill..P. Methane is common in very shallow. This would suggest that liquid hydrocarbons form first as the more complex. Donald G. appear to go from complex. but no methane. R. in the deepest and hottest reservoirs suggests that this process continues until there is no hydrogen left.G. R.Gp. due to the decay of animal and vegetable tissue.Gp. Page: 2-25 . increased depth of burial. L. Liquid hydrocarbons. 2011 Section 2: Petroleum Geology Lite There appears to be a residence time. R. Figure 2-20: Idealized Anticlinal Structure (after Bateman. temperature. The occurrence of methane and then only CO2. 1959).
in the source rocks. listed at the end of the Section 2 supplemental notes discuss the migration issue. Ph. where they are then expelled to find their way to reservoirs? This theory faces permeability and relative permeability problems. Page: 2-26 . which is the case. The problem is that many petroleum reservoirs are obviously not also source rocks.Gp. They are also largely insoluble in water.G.Gp.G.. At first glance. further restricting the size of the pore throats through which the hydrocarbons must pass. 1960). Donald G.D. which translates to very small pore throats. petroleum should occupy the uppermost reaches of a petroleum reservoir containing water. R. all of this seems to be low probability. There are not always high permeability pathways between petroleum reservoirs and their apparent source rocks. There needs to be some mechanism of transporting the petroleum from the source rocks to the reservoir. R.. most of the rocks forming suspected migration pathways are preferentially water wet. Basic Petrophysics . are often fine-grained. Figure 2-21: Santa Fe Springs Field. for fluid movement.P. in great detail.. 2011 Section 2: Petroleum Geology Lite Migration of Petroleum Petroleum gases and most crudes are less dense than water.USC PTE-461. Also.P. Petroleum migration theories are often entwined with theories of the origin of petroleum. L. where it can then be produced. themselves. CA. Are the precursors of petroleum cooked to full-blown petroleum molecules. Hill.Fall. R. Some of the websites. Source rocks. Structure (after Russell. All else being equal.
Once in the reservoir rocks the maturation to petroleum crude oils and gasses then continues..P. CA. It is possible that either one. R. the intermediate products migrate.Fall. Donald G. Ph. Basic Petrophysics . time scaling is very difficult to do. The wild card. R. R. such as ligands. in aqueous solution from the source rocks to the reservoir rocks. in laboratory experiments. Structural Cross Section AA' (after Russell.D.G. ammines. 1960). 2011 Section 2: Petroleum Geology Lite An alternative to the above migration theory is that the source rocks release intermediate products.Gp. avoiding the immiscible fluid problems. for both of these theories.. What is Needed for a Petroleum Reservoir A petroleum reservoir needs the following conditions: • A reservoir rock with porosity to store hydrocarbons.P.Gp. According to this theory. While many aspects of petroleum maturation and migration can be scaled. Figure 2-22: Santa Fe Springs Field.. Page: 2-27 . or both. of these scenarios is what actually happens. Hill. and esters which are usually simpler molecules than hydrocarbon molecules and/or soluble in water. is that movement/maturation takes place over geologic time scales on the order of millions of years.G. L.USC PTE-461.
2011 Section 2: Petroleum Geology Lite • • • • A reservoir rock with permeability to deliver the stored hydrocarbons to a borehole.P. • • • Essential all petroleum reservoirs satisfy the first set of conditions. L. Page: 2-28 . or trap. A very low permeability formation overlaying the reservoir rock (seal).Gp. Structural closure.D. and/or gas cap drive).. Donald G. The following conditions are also desirable. R. A source of reservoir energy (compaction drive. A source of hydrocarbons.Gp. WY. 1970). Figure 2-23: Circle Ridge Anticline. R. High gravity crude or gas.G. with communication (at least in the past) to the reservoir.Fall. Photo Mosaic (after Landes. Basic Petrophysics . R. such that hydrocarbons cannot escape from the reservoir to shallower formations..USC PTE-461. Hill.G. Ph..P. for commercial petroleum reservoirs: A thick hydrocarbon column. water drive. dissolved gas drive. The best performing reservoirs also satisfy the second.
Donald G. which will prevent migration of hydrocarbon molecules. 1970).Fall. WY. 2011 Section 2: Petroleum Geology Lite Atlas of Reservoir Types and Traps While all of the above first group conditions are necessary.Gp. Basic Petrophysics . which will collect them. Hill.P. A trap involves a very low permeability rock over the reservoir... structural and stratigraphic cross-sections. or three-dimensional isometric projections.G. Geologists and Geophysicists usually depict reservoirs via footprint and structural contour maps. Petroleum reservoir traps come in many varieties. L. The next section reviews some of the more common reservoir types and traps.D.USC PTE-461. there would be no petroleum reservoir. Figure 2-24: Upper Circle Ridge. as shown in Table 1. R. without some type of trapping mechanism to stop migration. in some type of geometrical shape. Field Structure contours on top of Phosphoria Limestone (after Landes.P. R.G.Gp. Petroleum reservoirs and traps can occur in a variety of forms. Page: 2-29 . R.. Ph.
P.Gp. Showing the NE Limb (hanging wall) Thrust Over the SW (foot wall) Limb. WY. is assumed to be vertical). Donald G. Field Structural Cross-Section along line AA'. Figure 2-22 also shows that the Santa Fe Springs Field has multiple "pay zones". Those pay zones with common oil water (O/W) contacts are probably in communication with one another (out of the plain of the cross-section). Each of these pay zones is separated from those above and below by low permeability shales. This structure usually forms as a result of compression. L. located in the Los Angeles (LA) Basin. Hill. have been bowed up to form gentle arches. R. Ph. for the Santa Fe Springs Field.USC PTE-461. Figure 2-21 shows a structural contour map (on the top of a gas reservoir). 2011 Section 2: Petroleum Geology Lite ANTICLINAL TRAP One of the simplest types of structural trap is the anticline (see Figure 2-19). which were deposited as horizontal beds. Page: 2-30 . 1970). with its axis at right angles to the direction of maximum stress. There is a "gas zone" at the top of these "stacked Pays". Basic Petrophysics . with 21 separate pay sands below. of Figure 2-21. The "lazy S" shape of the anticlinal axis reflects the complex stress regimes in the LA Basin. R. and parallel to the direction of intermediate stress (the direction of minimum stress. R.Gp. Figure 2-22 shows a structural cross-section along the AA' line.P.. which have distinct O/W contacts. are not in communication with other pay zones. or reservoirs. The various geological formations. limiting or even stopping communications between pay zones.Fall..G.D. of Figure 2-24. Forming Two Separate Reservoir Blocks (after Landes. resulting in a convex fold. Those (18) pay zones. of California.. Figure 2-25: Upper Circle Ridge.G.
strongly folded anticlines. L. LLC).. anticlinal folding steepens until failure takes place. may exhibit a doming of the surface. or reverse.P.USC PTE-461.D. they are subject to erosion. WY. increase. Ph.G. FAULTED ANTICLINAL TRAP As horizontal stresses.P. if any surface expression. over the Circle Ridge Anticline. If the fault movement is large enough that pay zones are no longer in communication across the fault.Gp. because of its depth and mild folding.. R. As a result. The kidney-shaped ridges are the erosional outlines of successive formations. erosion can cause a "breached anticline". from the outside to the center. Once hills are formed in this fashion. 2011 Section 2: Petroleum Geology Lite BREACHED ANTICLINE Deep folds tend to flatten as you approach the surface. a thrust. When this happens. Figure 223 is a mosaic of air photos. R.G.Fall.Gp. exposing several of the upper most dipping beds. Basic Petrophysics . Page: 2-31 . proceeding from youngest to oldest. separate reservoirs Donald G. fault occurs and one side of the fault (hanging wall) over rides the other (footwall). however. R. Figure 2-26: Visualization of Thrust Faults with Secondary Keystone Faults (courtesy of John Perez Graphics & Design. forming a faulted anticline. the Santa Fe Springs Anticline may have had little.. Hill. Shallow. In time.
of Figure 2-24. The heavy influx of sediment Donald G. Note that the western and SW edges of the field are bounded by a thrust fault. depending upon the relative timing of faulting and hydrocarbon migration. are tensional prior to thrust faulting. R. is underlain by the extensive and thick Jurassic age Louann Salt.P.. Hill. and the offset of pay zone(s) along the thrust fault. R.. on the top of the Permian Phosphoria Limestone. a series of normal (hanging wall shifted down. forming Keystone Grabins (German for graves). or down warped fold). the underlying Louann Salt began to flow. at the crests of anticlines.P. Basic Petrophysics . 1970)..G. Under these circumstances. relative to foot wall).Fall. Figure 2-27: Schematic Representation of Growth Faults (after Landes. 2011 Section 2: Petroleum Geology Lite can often be found in both the hanging wall and footwall. or Geosyncline (large. from Texas through the western Florida Panhandle. Imbricate (or secondary keystone) Faults can occur (see Figure 226).Gp. Also note that the shapes of the Figure 2-24 contours are similar to the outlines of the ridges in Figure 2-23. relative to the footwall) faults formed ringing the landward side of the Gulf Coast Salt Basin. GROWTH FAULT ANTICLINAL TRAP Much of the US Gulf Coast. This structural cross-section shows the asymmetric to overturned Circle Ridge Anticline. Wyoming. To accommodate the salt movement.Gp. This evaporite deposition was followed by a deepening of the Gulf of Mexico Trough. Ph.USC PTE-461. Figure 2-25 shows a structural cross-section along the line AA'. accompanied with extensive infill of clastic sediments. Figure 2-23 shows a structural contour map. R. ANTICLINE CRESTAL KEYSTONE AND THRUST IMBRIGATE FAULTS The stress regimes.G. at the crest. concave. for the Upper Circle Ridge Field. the thrust fault. forming thins and ridges under the overlying sediments. Normal Faults (hanging wall drops. As the weight of the heavy sediment load built up. L. Page: 2-32 .D. If horizontal compression results in thrust faulting.
. Page: 2-33 .. "Growth Faults" (Figure 227) in the US Gulf Coast are also found in other recent sedimentary regimes.Gp.Fall. Hill. Figure 2-28: Lewisberg Field. Listric (decreasing fault dip with depth) normal faults.Gp. such as the Niger Delta. Ph. R. Contour Map on Top Frio Formation. Donald G. so that deposition continued contemporaneously with movement on the normal faults. 1970). Growth fault fields have the following characteristics: • • A series of normal faults and down-dip closures (see Figure 20-28).G. R. The resulting structures called. LA. 2011 Section 2: Petroleum Geology Lite continued during the faulting.. Basic Petrophysics .USC PTE-461.P.P.G. R. L. Showing Five Growth Fault Created Reservoir Blocks (after Landes.D.
LLC).Fall. creating anticlinal structures in the hanging wall (see Figure 2-27 and 28). hanging wall thickness several times that on the foot wall. Petroleum reservoirs in the hanging wall. R.USC PTE-461. Page: 2-34 . 2011 Section 2: Petroleum Geology Lite • • • Significant stratigraphic thickening across the fault (i.e. Hill. fault. Figure 2-29: Visualization of a Piercement Salt Dome (courtesy of John Perez Graphics Design.P..G.G.. L..Gp. Ph.Gp.P. R.D. R. adjacent to the growth fault (see Figure 2-27 and 28). Reversal of regional dip into the fault (Rollover). Basic Petrophysics .. Donald G.
Donald G.Fall. With continuing sedimentary loading.Gp. find pressure relief by sending salt piercements (plugs) through loci of weakness. as shown in Figure 2-29. The formation of these piercemednt domes warped up the overlying sediments and dragged the pierced sentiments up with them. Basic Petrophysics .Gp. into the overlying sediments. responsible for growth faulting.. R. Similar structures formed by high water content mobile shales are found in the Niger Delta. Page: 2-35 ..D. R.P. Ph.USC PTE-461.G. Hill. LA (after Landes.. as well as elsewhere are structural traps created by the movement of salt and high water content clays. L. some of the salt ridges. and/or in the sands dragged up by the piercement action (see Figure 2-29).P. 1970). Petroleum reservoirs can be found in the sands domed above the salt plug. R.G. 2011 Section 2: Petroleum Geology Lite Figure 2-30: Three-Dimensional Renderings of Avery Island. solution features within the cap rock of the dome. PIERCEMENT SALT AND MOBILE SHALE DOMES A very significant class of hydrocarbon reserves in the US Gulf Coast.
G. (after Landes.D.G. R.Fall. L. Basic Petrophysics .P. Ph.. Hill. Page: 2-36 .Gp. 1970).Gp.P.. 2011 Section 2: Petroleum Geology Lite Figure 2-31: East Texas Field Map. Donald G.USC PTE-461. R. R..
P. R. Ph. R. one of the largest fields in North America (note that the map scale is in miles). R. and ARCO.Gp. CLASTIC STRATIGRAPHIC TRAP The previous examples all had some type of structural closure of the reservoir. Many of these domes have significant surface topography (from 10 to over 100 ft). Uplift Cross-Section. as well as oil and gas fields along their flanks. Basic Petrophysics . Figure 2-32 is a west to east structural and stratigraphic cross-section.G. Spindletop Dome.G. Hill.D. 1970). Donald G. 1970). with overlying low permeability shales. in SW Louisiana. showing the pinch-out and facies change in the Woodbine Group... Page: 2-37 ..Gp. Some have operating salt mines in their core. 2011 Section 2: Petroleum Geology Lite One such salt dome. Oklahoma. near Beaumont.P. GULF. Figure 2-31 is a map of the East Texas Field. AMOCO. Texas. which resulted in the oil entrapment. Showing On-Lap Sedimentation Against an Unconformity (after Landes. Figure 2-32: East Texas Field structural and Stratigraphic Cross-Section (after Landes. In the absence of structural closure clastic reservoirs can also be formed by up-dip facies changes from sands to shales. L.Fall. Figure 2-30 shows a three-dimensional rendering of the Avery Island Dome. as well as many smaller oil companies. was responsible for launching TEXACO.USC PTE-461. Figure 2-33: Paul Valley.
P.. Basic Petrophysics . with rising sea levels. with accompanying lowering of worldwide sea levels.. their oil companies. Ph. 1970). possibly. and continental glaciation. Periods of warmer temperatures have been accompanied by the complete loss of continental glaciers (except. Hill. the most recent being the Pleistocene Ice Age. possibly.. Donald G. R. R. The most extreme of these periods are called “Ice Ages”.P.Fall. along with melting of polar ice caps and alpine glaciers. Dallas. served as the inspiration for the television series. 2011 Section 2: Petroleum Geology Lite This super giant field launched the carriers of the Hunt family.D.Gp. Including Kelly-Snyder Field (after Landes. L.USC PTE-461.G. There have been several large-scale climatic changes.G. Figure 2-34: Map of Horseshoe Atoll Fields. throughout geologic time. We are currently experiencing one of these inter-glacial periods. R. at the poles). as well as increased alpine. and.Gp. TRANSGRESSIVE SEAS AND ON-LAP TRAPS Large-scale climatic changes are not a new phenomenon. Texas. Page: 2-38 . Periods of colder temperatures have been accompanied by the growth of polar ice caps.
and traps at their up dip termination (sub-crop) against the unconformity. R. resulting in what is called “off-lap” sedimentary sequences. R. Uplift. Falling sea levels move sedimentation zones away from the shore. Field Outline and Structure Contoured on the Top Canyon Reservoir (after Landes.Gp. Near-shore sedimentation is controlled by water depth and wave movement.G. Basic Petrophysics . Page: 2-39 . The west coast of the US is currently emerging. with the land rising relative to sea level..G.. Oklahoma. Figure 2-35: Kelly-Snyder Field. shows evidence of former wave cut benches. Successively more recent sediments are deposited higher and higher along the (weathered surface) unconformity. Hill. R.USC PTE-461. with increased flooding of coastal lowlands. The California Coastline.. now several tens of feet above sea level. north of San Francisco.Fall. Donald G. The East coast of North America and SW Louisiana are in a submerging state. Figure 2-33 shows a cross-section through the Paul Valley. L. Texas.Gp. resulting in what is called “on-lap” sedimentary sequences. 1970).P.D. Low permeability shales overlying the third and fourth Deese Sand Zones form reservoir seals. 2011 Section 2: Petroleum Geology Lite Tectonic events (mountain building) can also cause local changes in sea levels. Rising sea levels move sedimentation zones toward the shore. Ph.P.
R.Fall. shown in Donald G. Basic Petrophysics .P. Some of the largest and most prolific fields in the world.G. This is done by recrystalization (conversion from calcite to dolomite) and/or solution features due to movement of waters within permeable portions of the carbonates.D. shell beds and coral reefs have been converted to limestones. A Pennsylvanian age carbonate reef. Texas.USC PTE-461. R. L. in West Texas.. 2011 Section 2: Petroleum Geology Lite CARBONATE RESERVOIRS The large preponderance of petroleum reservoirs are in clastic rocks. Section along AA' in Figure 2-22 (after Landes. Hill. The largest field in this former reef is the Kelly-Snyder Field. are in carbonate rocks. R.Gp. For carbonate reservoirs to form secondary porosity must form after the limy muds.P. Figure 2-34 shows the location of Horseshoe Atoll..G. 1970). however. Page: 2-40 . Figure 2-36: Kelly-Snyder Field. Ph..Gp.
Hill. R. we will consider a rather simplified model. Page: 2-41 . Basic Petrophysics . Kazakhstan.Gp.P. Figure 2-36 is a structural and stratigraphic cross-section along line AA'.. as well as elsewhere in the West Texas . Donald G.Fall. 1991) Bi-Modal Clastic Rock Model One of the more interesting problems faced by petrophysicists involves estimation of volumetrics ( and Sw) for clastic reservoirs containing significant volumes of clays and clay minerals. Qatar.G. with Two Dominant Grain Sizes (after Griffin. Its simplicity allows insight. L. Figure 2-37: Sieve Analysis for a Recent Gulf Coast Shaly-Sand Interval. Over time. this model also satisfies many field observations.. Saudi Arabia.P. R. Yemen. the reservoirs are universally called "Shaly-Sands". In spite of its simplicity.D.USC PTE-461. For purposes of the current discussion.SE New Mexico Permian Basin. Ph. R. Similar Super Giant Carbonate fields are located in Iran. which might be more difficult for more complex models. of Figure 2-35. as investigators have attempted to accommodate additional properties. however.. petrophysical shaly sand models have become very complex. and The UAE. 2011 Section 2: Petroleum Geology Lite Figure 2-35. Kuwait. While this situation describes a sand containing clay sized particles and clay minerals.Gp.G.
such as the bi-modal grain size distribution in the sieve analysis of Figure 2-37. if you will.P. This is the case. as shown in Figure 2-38).. for the sieve analysis.D. R. R.P.and fine-grained. Basic Petrophysics . L..Gp.100 times larger than the fine-grained particles (visualize the diameters of BBs and basketballs.. Ph. of Figure Donald G.USC PTE-461.G. R. For the purposes of this model. Hill. a sediment model consisting of only two sizes of particles: coarse. Consider. Page: 2-42 .Fall.Gp. 2011 Section 2: Petroleum Geology Lite Figure 2-38: Comparison of Basketballs and BBs.G. we would like the coarse grained particles to be at least 50 .
R. Hill. will be: 'T = c fn . shows that this condition is also satisfied for sand and clay sized particles. 2011 Section 2: Petroleum Geology Lite 2-37.Fall. 2-1) Donald G. T. (1971). Page: 2-43 . R. shown in Figure 2-38.P. with the fine-grained particles only in the spaces between the coarse grains.. If we start with a coarse-grained matrix of porosity. Xc. R.P. This model. of this composite as the ratio of the volume of the coarse-grains over the volume of the total matrix.USC PTE-461.Gp. the total porosity will be reduced by the volume of the fine-grained material that has been inserted into the pores of the composite. fn. using common particle size scales. c. to develop “Shaly-Sand” petrophysical relationships. we would have completely filled the coarse-grain pore spaces with the fine-grained material. With no fine-grained material in the mixture. Ph. Thomas and Stieber (1975). Figure 2-5 (Seevers and Hill. we would like to know what the porosity of this mixture. At some point. As fine-grained material is inserted into the coarse-grained pore spaces. Xc = 1. has been utilized by Stephenson (1970. 1974a. Seevers (1977). L. Now.. 1971. Define the coarse-grain fraction. and fill in the pore spaces with fine-grained material of porosity. 1974b. Seevers and Hill.D. 'T.. consider that the sediment model consists of a structural matrix of the coarse grained particles. would be.G. in this exercise. Figure 2-39: Bi-modal Particle Size Sediment Model (after Seevers and Hill. and 1977).G.Gp. Basic Petrophysics . 1970). the total porosity of the composite. and Hill (1978). At that point. 1970).
. the total porosity follows the model: X fn (1 c ) . to be: 1 c .G. 2-2) X' c = 1 c fn For the range: X'c < Xc < 1.P. Hill.Gp..D.. using a little intuitive geometry and a lot of algebra. Basic Petrophysics .P. 2-3) = c T =1 1 X fn Xc Donald G. 2011 Section 2: Petroleum Geology Lite Figure 2-40: Sand Porosity vs.USC PTE-461. Page: 2-44 .G. 1965). X'c.Gp. The grain fraction where this occurs. Ph. L. for a Gulf Coast Well (after Pardo and Kurtak. R. Depth.Fall. R. can be determined. R.
Page: 2-45 . Depth for a Gulf Coast Well (after Stephenson. L. and insert the coarse-grained material until we have achieved a coarse grained framework. with a coarse-grained porosity. With no coarse-grained material in the mixture.. 1970) If we start with a fine-grained matrix of porosity.. with each coarse-grain we insert.. T.G. fn. Figure 2-41: Shale Chip Porosity vs.Gp.USC PTE-461. we would be replacing both the fine-grained material and its porosity.G.P. Hill. R. As coarsegrained material is inserted into the composite. Xc = 0 and the T = fn. 2011 Section 2: Petroleum Geology Lite where: Xfn = 1 .Xc. R. Ph. we would like to know what the porosity of this mixture.P.D. Basic Petrophysics . R.Gp.Fall. c. would be. the total porosity will be reduced in a more Donald G. In this case.
. Grafton and Frazer (1935) demonstrated that random packs of uniform spheres yielded porosity values between 26% and 47%. Ph..P.D.USC PTE-461. using only c and fn. R. for any Xc. 2-5) Donald G.G.G. depending upon the packing. the total porosity is given by: (1 Xc ) fn . R.4% porosity.Gp. Page: 2-46 . R. Grain Fraction. 2011 Section 2: Petroleum Geology Lite complex manner. L. Athy (1930) demonstrated that porosity compaction appears to follow the form: = Ae bz . The porosity minimum. Basic Petrophysics . than before. at deposition. We can now use these equations and assumed values of c and fn to show the relationship.Fall. 2-4) T = 1 X c fn Equations 2-1 -2-4 indicate that we can estimate the porosity of a bi-model mixture. however. because we are now replacing both matrix and pore space.Gp. Hill.P. the coarse-grained and fine-grained end point porosities. The question is where do we start.. regardless of the grain size mode. For the range: 0 < Xc < X'c. Figure 2-42: Bi-Model Clastic Model Total and Effective Porosity vs. will still be given by Equation 2-1and the grain fraction for that minimum will still be given by Equation 2-2. Beard and Weyl (1973) demonstrated that well sorted “wet-packed” sands averaged 42.
G. The effective porosity. will provide valuable insight for more complex sedimentary models and/or the responses of various logging tools.Gp.Gp. = c. Donald G.D. with a slope of -b and a z = 0 intercept of A.USC PTE-461. where X'c < Xc < 1. except that they be about 2 orders of magnitude different in size. L. this rock is not a viable reservoir with even less than 28% clays. X'c is approximately 72%. Basic Petrophysics . with a surface porosity intercept of ~43%. Depending upon the c and fn. where c = fn= 40%. The porosity on the left-hand side (LHS) of Figure 2-42 involves only fine-grained.. This shale data also follows the model of Equation 2-5 well.. in the matrix. R. R. Because the last few e % are not really that significant. = fn. and for Xc=1. with a surface porosity of ~ 42%.P.. Remember that in the discussion of clastic sediments. Up to this point. figure 2-42 shows the complete bi-modal porosity-grain fraction relationship. we can see just what the effects of clays really are. it was stated that clays and shales may have quite high porosity but the sizes of the pore spaces in clays and shales are so small that they generally cannot deliver fluids to a borehole. The effective porosity for the RHS of Figure 2-36 is given by: 1 Xc . The dashed line in Figure 2-42 shows the T -Xc relationship. Page: 2-47 . for the entire LHS. Define the effective porosity. 2011 Section 2: Petroleum Geology Lite where: A and b are arbitrary constants. this cut off can be as low as 9% clays. do follow the model of Equation 2-5. determined by the data and z is the depth below ground surface. 2-6) e = T 1 Xc fn These relationships are shown by the solid line in Figure 2-42. R. Figure 2-40 shows a porosity/depth plot for sands from a Gulf Coast well. for this well. This means that only 28% clays. The data. to be that porosity which will deliver significant volumes of fluids to a borehole. The effective porosity of clays and shales is then 0. we have not required anything from the coarse and fine grains. which also agrees with the model of Beard and Weyl (1973).Fall. For the model of Figure 2-42. The bi-modal clastic model is greatly simplified. or shale porosity. Equation 2-5 indicates that porosity/depth plots on semi-logarithmic grids will be a straight line. Hill. is reduced by the volume of the fine-grained material. Note that both Xc = 0. Ph. which is close to that predicted by the models of Beard and Weyl (1973). e. The effective porosity for the right hand side (RHS) of Figure 2-42. At Xc = Xc’ 72% T = c fn =16%. Many of the inferences from this simple conceptual model. we can draw another very useful inference. Using c = fn ± 40%. inserted into the coarsegrained matrix. as you will see later in the course. for this clastic model eliminates all effective porosity.P. where 0 < Xc < X'c is 0.G. however. Now that we have established the bi-model clastic model. and its porosity. If we now require that the fine-grains be clays and that the coarse-grains be quartz. Figure 2-41 shows a similar porosity/depth plot for shale chips from a gulf coast well. quite well.
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